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Mailbag: Adding To The LB Corps? TE Depth?

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Heading into the draft, how comfortable are you at the linebacker position for the Cowboys? And with that said, is Jabril Cox going to be ready for Week 1? — STEVE NACLERIO / NEW YORK, NY

David: I don't want to speak for Jabril, but the Cowboys' front office has said he's progressing very well from the injury, so I'm optimistic that he'll be ready when the time comes. I feel pretty good about the linebacker spot, but I have two thoughts: for starters, they could use some more depth. And on top of that, it'd be awfully fun if they drafted another linebacker that could play in passing situations, which would give Micah Parsons added flexibility to blitz and/or rush the passer. It doesn't need to be a first-round pick, but I think it'd be smart to draft one at some point.

Rob: Yes, it sounds like Cox is right on track and he'll compete for the snaps Keanu Neal played last year. Stephen Jones recently said the Cowboys feel pretty good about the linebacker depth, partly because Jayron Kearse practically plays linebacker in their prominent "big nickel" package featuring three safeties. Indeed, Kearse played almost 90% of the snaps last season. He's back, and so is Leighton Vander Esch to play alongside Micah Parsons, and Luke Gifford re-signed too. But I agree it makes sense to add more depth here, partly because linebacker is such a physical position and injuries happen.

Why is nobody talking about Trey McBride. I think he's a superstar in the making and I'd love to see him in lined up with Dalton Schultz. — KEITH JARNAGIN / SELMER, TN

David: I don't think there's a first-round tight end in this class, and those are the guys that tend to grab all the headlines. So that's probably your answer. I will say that I know we've talked about him on The Draft Show, and I definitely think he's got a lot of potential. I'll bet you $5 the Cowboys spend a pick on a tight end this year, and I'd be perfectly happy if they go with McBride.

Rob: We've definitely talked about tight end depth as a need, just maybe not as much regarding the first or second round where McBride is generally projected. Doesn't mean it can't happen -- it just means there's a little less urgency to draft a tight end early now that Schultz is back on the franchise tag. Like I said in Monday's mailbag, offensive line and wide receiver (and maybe even edge rusher) currently jump out as more pressing needs, in my opinion.

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