Which past and present Cowboys players do you think have had the best nicknames? — H. MELVIN / OCEAN CITY, NJ
Rob: Growing up I always thought "The Playmaker" looked so cool on a poster. Simple, but perfectly described Michael Irvin's game. Kenny "The Shark" Gant was great and fit his role of hunting tackles on special teams. I'd probably go with "Triplets," though: totally original, universally recognized and it's never been replicated in any sport. "Too Tall" Jones is a close second for me.
Nick: Well, for a while there in the 90s, it seemed like they had all animals covered. There was "Pup" and "Big Cat" and of course, the "Shark" but the most popular one of all had to be "Moose" for Daryl Johnston. I don't recall any other player getting that much love in opposing stadiums like the "Moooooose" calls. Truth be told, the only player I can remember calling him by his nickname instead of his real name was Rocket Ismail. But if you're asking me my favorite nickname, I'll go with Marion the "Barbarian." Such a perfect fit for the way he ram the ball.
I keep reading that Jabril Cox is built more like a safety playing linebacker in the same mold as Neal. As I recall, Darren Woodson played linebacker in college and his transition to safety in the NFL turned out great. Not saying that Cox should or will transition to safety, but watching film and seeing the two, how do they compare in build and playing style? — PAUL MARTIN / PLEASANT GROVE, UT
Rob: I understand the thinking because of Cox's cover skills, and you could argue he's got a larger frame than Micah Parsons when you watch both of them on the field. But I can't go with you on the Darren Woodson comparison. Not only could Woody cover, he was so physical in run support and rushing the passer. That's an area where Cox is looking to improve. But he's terrific in coverage for his position.
Nick: You have to remember this about Woodson, he was an absolute freak. I think you're gonna see that and really enjoy the documentary Rob and our team is working on about Woodson that comes out next month. They just don't make them like him anymore. He was a linebacker in college because he could hit like one. But in the NFL, he was a safety that played nickel corner. Who does that? Probably not Jabril Cox. But let's not compare him to a guy that should be in the Hall of Fame. Where Cox can contribute is in coverage and if he's a guy that locks up the tight end, that's a great weapon right there. One thing I know about Cox is they better find out this year if he can play since there are some decisions to make at linebacker next year.