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BOB KUREK - BLACKSBURG, VA: If the owners get their way in these negotiations and the players' portion of the revenue shrinks, what are the implications on the salary cap and the Cowboys' ability to sign free agents?
Nick: I think the real effects would be seen in the next few years. You probably wouldn't see big changes right now because the majority of the contracts are already written. Maybe there would be a few salary-cap moves to cut players like Leonard Davis or Roy Williams or Marion Barber. But those moves could happen whether there's a cap or not. I really don't see the aspect of signing players changing that much. The players will just get less, but they'll get less across the board. It's not like they're going to hold out because that's what they were making last year or the year before.
Josh: Well, I don't think there will be a noticeable change. Whatever the salary cap number ultimately is, it won't be less than in was 2009, the last time there was a cap. It's just that it (and players' salaries themselves) won't continue to grow at the exponential rate it has over the last decade. I think that's what the owners are trying to slow as much as anything.
DOUG MCBROOM - RED SPRINGS, NC: A good pass rush leads QBs to rush and throw more interceptions. The flip side of that is a good pass defense keeps the ball in the QBs hands longer and allows more sacks and more other mistakes. Do you lean one way or the other, and if you had to choose between adding pass rush or secondary help for the Cowboys, which would you go with?
Nick: I think it's a very good "chicken and egg" theory that is often difficult to discuss. I really don't lean one way or the other. I think Ware and Spencer were really good in 2009 and therefore Newman and Jenkins were both Pro Bowl alternates because of that. I think Ware and Spencer - mostly Spencer - had a down year in 2010 and the cornerbacks weren't very good as a result. It's a combination of both. So I don't think there's a hard-fast rule on that.
Josh: I don't think one is necessarily more important than the other because, as you say, they go hand in hand. As for the Cowboys, though, I think it's easier to improve the secondary overnight than it is the pass rush. That's mainly because they have a major opening at free safety, while one of the primary pass rushers, Anthony Spencer, is guaranteed to return. As I've been saying, the quickest way for the defense to get better isn't to replace guys like Spencer and Mike Jenkins, but for them to play better, closer to their 2009 selves. That may or may not be possible.
Mailbag: Assessing Micah Parsons' Progress?
Haven't heard much about Micah Parsons since he was moved to linebacker. How is he grading out at linebacker?
Mailbag: Explaining The Waivers Situation
With Brandon Knight not reporting to the Ravens, can the Cowboys claim him and re-sign him to the practice squad?
Mailbag: Wildcat QB? Give Cam Newton A Call?
Now that he's vaccinated, don't you think we should consider making Cam Newton an offer as backup QB?
Mailbag: Future Of The WR Corps? OT Depth?
Assuming the younger receivers keep producing in this offense is it becoming more evident that Michael Gallup leaves in free agency next year?
Mailbag: In-Game Decisions? Red Zone Issues?
Why is Coach McCarthy getting so much bad press for his poor game management? Is it really that bad?
Mailbag: Four 1,000-Yard Players On Offense?
Has the idea of two 1,000-yard receivers and two 1,000-yard backs ever crossed you guys' mind? Looks possible at this rate
Mailbag: Not Afraid Of Third-And-Long Anymore?
This year, we seem to routinely overcome first-and-15 or first-and-20. Do you think that is showing the maturation in Kellen Moore's play calling?
Mailbag: Tough Roster Decisions Ahead?
I'm awaiting the return of some key players but I'm also starting to worry that we simply won't have enough roster spots. Am I over thinking it?
Mailbag: Cowboys Still Peaking? Try Diggs At WR?
Can't remember having more fun watching a team come together. Don't we still have a lot of room to grow and improve?
Mailbag: Kellen Moore's Future? Grier Update?
I was interested in your thoughts of the Cowboys being able to keep OC Kellen Moore past this year. When the season is over, he could go quickly.
Mailbag: What Is Jaylon Smith's Cowboy Legacy?
In light of the decision to release Jaylon Smith, it's hard to know how to feel about such a unique career. From the remarkable comeback story to now, what do you think Jaylon's legacy is?