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Cowboys Mailbag: May 1, 2012

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ROBIN WILKIE SPARTANBURG, SC: The Cowboys have had some success in the third round - Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray - do you think Tyrone Crawford can be that type of impact player for this defense, and how soon?

Rob: The Cowboys see starter potential in Crawford at some point. He's raw, but he's a good athlete with a motor – there's that word again – and he did come from a good program at Boise State. They think he could help right away as a nickel rusher. I'd say Crawford, safety Matt Johnson and receiver Danny Coale are three of their most intriguing rookies.

Josh: The Cowboys have to have some optimism that he could be an impact player. It's hard to compare any incoming rookie with Jason Witten, but I do think he will have his chances in passing situations this year, and as he adds weight in coming years, he could be more dynamic than the 3-4 ends we've seen around here. That's the hope, anyway. The Cowboys haven't picked a defensive lineman so early in five years, so that's an indication of how much they like him.

SHAUN RODVOLD COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: Why are the Cowboys making a big deal about undrafted free agent guard Ron Leary? He has a degenerative knee, which will probably cut his career short one day.

Rob:Maybe so, but there's minimal risk financially. If it cost you very little, would you sign a guy who may give you a few years playing at a high level? The club did something similar seven years ago with Marc Colombo, a veteran player who was coming off a career-threatening knee injury, and that worked out pretty well. If it doesn't, they haven't invested a ton in it. Post-draft free agency is low-risk, high-reward business.

Josh: They're excited about him because his tape was good enough to get a third-round grade. For now, they say, he's fine. They don't think the knee is a ticking time bomb that could explode at any minute. So, if they can get a few years out of him, what's the harm? Any undrafted free agent who makes the team for even one year is considered a success.

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