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Mailbag: Better Draft Pick, Tyron Smith Or J.J. Watt?


With all the talk about Rolando McClain, is it really possible that he can become a solid Week 1 starter in the middle? If so, how does that impact the rest of the linebackers? Who are the best three, and where would they play?

Bryan: Until McClain gets his conditioning under control, he is not going to help this team. As a coaching staff you can't start a player if in the back of your mind you are not sure he can finish the game. There is no question of his ability but right now I would have to believe that Kyle Wilber, Justin Durant and Bruce Carter would be the starters opening day.  

David: McClain has flashed a lot in practice and in the Ravens game, as we've written about. But like Bryan said, it's easy to see how much ground he has to cover in conditioning when he's out of breath during practice. Against the Ravens, he asked to come out during one of Baltimore's touchdown drives because he was too winded. I won't be surprised if he starts at some point, but I'd guess the starting trio is Kyle Wilber, Justin Durant and Bruce Carter against San Francisco. If McClain eventually takes over, I'd guess it's McClain in the middle with Durant on the weak side.

Considering the D-Line problems we have now, was it a smart move to take Tyron Smith over J.J. Watt? Both became all-pros -- opinions?

Bryan: The right selection was made in that draft. Both are outstanding football players and will be for a long time. What this front office will do now is work on this defensive line like they did with the offense. Identify the best players at tackle and end then make those your selections. This is just going to take a little time.  

David: There have been a lot of draft miscues you can pin on the front office, but I'm not sure drafting Smith is one of them. The guy is one of the best tackles in the game at the age of 23, and the Cowboys have already secured him for the vast majority of his career. On top of that, four years is an eternity in football. There's simply no way the Cowboys could have known in 2011 their defensive line would be the wreck it is right now. They've already drafted DeMarcus Lawrence, and it stands to reason they'll be drafting some help for him in the future.

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