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Cowboys Mailbag: October 21, 2011

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Rob Cagley - Shreveport, LA: I'm sure the Cowboys drafted Tyron Smith with the intention of moving him to left tackle at some point. Why not go ahead and do that now, since Doug Free is having problems?

Nick: I'm sure you watched Sunday's game against the Patriots. Looked to me like Smith had more problems than anyone. In the last two weeks, we're starting to see more signs that Smith is a rookie than we saw to start the year. I think it comes down to expectations and right now, everyone is expecting Free to simply lock down his side and we expect growing pains for Free. I think if you graded them out through five games, Free grades out higher.

Rob: I'd keep the young guy where he is and not throw something totally new at him at this point in the season. Smith will have – and has had already – some growing pains along the way. Doug Free is this team's starting left tackle, and he knows he has pick it up some. Let's see if putting a veteran like Montrae Holland next to Free will help any, because I do think moving Kyle Kosier to the right side has been an adjustment for him.

Marvin Baldwin - Manor, TX: Why is Dallas so reluctant to use Dez Bryant on punt returns when other teams use their star wide receivers in that role?

Nick: Reluctant because that's where he gets hurt the most. While he's dynamic back there on punt returns, he's suffered his two major injuries on punt and kickoff returns. I'm sure if DeSean Jackson or Wes Welker got hurt on punt returns, those teams would change their tune, too. But you'll probably see Dez back there some this week.

Rob: Jason Garrett explained it pretty clearly: they don't want to overload him coming off that deep thigh injury. If he stays healthy, maybe he becomes an option at some point down the line, Garrett said. I get that, but I wouldn't mind seeing him on situational returns when the opponent is backed up in their own territory. That's the way Terence Newman was used in the past.

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