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Mailbag: Area For Most Improvement; DT Battle?

What is the one area this team must improve most over last year and how do you feel the offseason has addressed it so far? - JEFF PARSONS / AMARILLO, TX

Rob: Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli gave us a good nugget this week: 67 percent of takeaways start with pressure up front. The Cowboys ranked mid-pack in forcing turnovers last year and they’ve improved the last three seasons. But Marinelli wants more. Based on his stat, adding Robert Quinn to the pass rush should help.

Bryan: Broken record: backup quarterback. They need to figure that out soon. That is the one position they can’t afford to going into the season feeling good about. At this current time, playing with Cooper Rush or Mike White is not a good option.

Maliek Collins is one of my favorite players on our defense. When he is healthy I think he's very effective against both the run and pass. Do you see him continuing to start as our three technique or do you see Trysten Hill or Tyrone Crawford in that role? - REUBEN JOHNSON / NASHVILLE, TN

Rob: Collins is getting first-team work there right now and probably has the inside track to start over Hill. Crawford is a valuable chess piece who could get work at either defensive end spot or move inside to tackle depending on the numbers and production there.

Bryan: Wrote about him yesterday in my Scout’s Notebook. He’s been outstanding. Hard to block, active and relentless. Poised to have a nice season if he can avoid having foot/ankle problems that generally strike him.

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