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Mailbag: Consider Drafting OT With Top Pick?

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If the season ends this week, we will be picking in the top 5 on the 2021 draft. We can pick a QB or the top OT, but the management is saying that Dak is the future, and it remains to be seen what our OT situation looks like, health-wise. I know it's too early, but what are your thoughts? — NICOLAS VIDAURE / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

David: I appreciate you at least acknowledging that it's very, very early. There are going to be a lot of twists and turns over the next six months, but I don't know how you can't turn your eye to the defense. I'm optimistic Dak will be back and just as healthy as ever, and you can't ignore the fact that Tyron Smith and La'el Collins are both signed on for the long term. With that in mind, I'm hoping the Cowboys can spend their first-round pick on a difference-making defensive back. I don't care if it's a corner or a safety, but this team needs DB's with instincts who can make plays on the ball. It's been a problem for far too long.

Nick: Yes, it's too early because A) you don't know where you're going to be picking and B) who's even out there? I can't tell you I know more than two names that will be up there. I did notice that nowhere in your question did you mention defense. I don't care if it's Top 3 or Top 10 or somehow in the teens, I'm addressing defense. And I'd like to think it will be in the secondary but you never know. I'll say this about the QBs, don't be surprised if Jerry Jones uses that as leverage for other teams to trade for one, and he could slide back and get more picks.

What's your take on adding another DE to the line? Takk McKinley was just waived by Atlanta, should the Cowboys consider it? — JASON BARNES / STOCKBRIDGE, GA

David: I'd definitely do it. The Cowboys currently sit third in the waiver order, and McKinley is only due about $800,000 left on his rookie deal. It wouldn't cost much to add him for the last seven games, and we know the team loved him during the run-up to the 2017 draft. It's even fair to say he might've been their first-round pick if Atlanta hadn't jumped in front of them. It'd only be a seven-game rental, but if he shows potential perhaps the Cowboys might gain an edge on re-signing him. Remember, we don't know what the future holds for Aldon Smith, so I'm all in favor of trying to find talent any way they can.

Nick: Why not? Sure, there are some kind of issues going on with him and the Falcons. That's obvious. But if he's talented and wants to play football, then I think I would use my waiver priority to at least find out for myself. If it doesn't work out, then he goes somewhere in free agency and you might even get a comp pick for it down the road. But I don't think it can hurt. The Cowboys have tried to steal some good pass rushers like this in the past. It's somewhat working with Aldon Smith and they did the same with Gregory. But something tells me that being third in the priority order won't be soon enough. I bet it doesn't happen, but I think I'd do it.

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