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Mailbag: Best Options On The Defensive Line?


Being the eternal optimist, I am going to assume in addition to Robert Quinn, DeMarcus Lawrence gets signed and Randy Gregory is able to play at some point in the season. If so, how do you see them deploying this D-line on passing downs to optimize their pass rush? Can Quinn or Lawrence move to DT like the Giants used to do? Who would then be the fourth down lineman? - DANIEL RITCH

Bryan: Just a guess here, but I believe you'd see Tyrone Crawford and Collins inside with Quinn and Lawrence on the edges. Gregory would be a spot player with Jaylon Smith being used as a fifth rusher if needed. If they were to use an end besides Crawford as a tackle It would likely be Taco Charlton.

Rob: We've seen Lawrence move inside at times, but I think the key -- more than getting them all on the field at once -- is keeping a fresh rotation throughout the game. The numbers at tackle and end look a lot better than they did a few weeks ago, even with Gregory suspended. It'll be interesting to see how they use Crawford now that Quinn is here. Will he go back to right end or work inside? Now they've got more options than questions, provided that Lawrence gets signed.


When New England build their championship winning teams with few "big stars and contracts" they seem to always do the right thing. (Although no one dwells on the misses much.) When Dallas tries to do the same, fans are not happy, want big free agency signings and "stars" everywhere. What am I missing here? - GREG WOOD / LEICESTER, ENGLAND

Bryan: The Championships...that's what you're missing. Until you find a way to start winning those, fans are going to be critical. Something has to change here to make that happen. It's not going to be the front office so it might have to be the coach? We should all keep a close eye on how that plays out. 

Rob: The Patriots have built up a lot of equity these last 17 years. They're not judged the same way because no one's come close to their overall body of work. The Cowboys do have big contracts, but it's for their star players. That means they're drafting well. Adding veterans like Randall Cobb and Robert Quinn – difference makers on cap-friendly contracts – should make the team better while keeping flexibility for all these extensions they want to get done. I do think the narrative for this offseason has changed dramatically after those moves.

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