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Cowboys Mailbag: January 30, 2012

/ Editor's Note: Each weekday,'s writers will field two questions from the fans. Click here to email your question now. **

CRAIG ANDERSON MURRIETA, CA: I've heard mixed opinions on this. Why wouldn't the Cowboys be willing to draft an interior O-lineman in the first round?

Rob:There's a line of thinking across the league, and I've heard it around here before, that you can usually unearth good guard/center prospects in the later rounds. It's not considered a primo position like tackle where teams can really justify paying first-round money for an interior guy. But it is a need for this team. If there's a guy the Cowboys feel can be a 10-year starter from Day One like Tyron Smith, why not take him?

Josh: I can see some logic in doing it, even though those positions are rarely picked in the top half of the first round. But I just don't see the Cowboys doing it because it took Jerry Jones 22 years to draft the first offensive lineman in Round 1. To do it two years in a row now would really be surprising. As far as needs go, yeah, it's a big one, but I think the Cowboys have issues on defense they must address, too.

JOHNNY CRUZ EL PASO, TX: Should the Cowboys consider a trade for Jimmy Clausen? He would come at a fairly low price because of the rise of Cam Newton in Carolina, and would give the team a possible quarterback of the future.

Rob: I personally wouldn't dip into this year's draft picks to trade for or draft a quarterback – too many needs on defense and the offensive line. Plus, the Panthers didn't view Clausen as a future cornerstone, or they wouldn't have drafted Newton. Why should Dallas? If the Cowboys decide Stephen McGee isn't the answer, they'd be better off signing a veteran with a lot more starting experience than Clausen (10 career games) and then look to draft a guy at some point.

Josh: I would think about it for the cost of a fifth-round pick, but probably wouldn't be willing to trade any more. Evidently Stephen McGee's not thrilling the Cowboys or Jerry Jones wouldn't be talking about signing a veteran. Clausen is a guy a lot of people thought highly of just two years ago.

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