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Mailbag: Biggest Long-Term Roster Need?

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Other than finding a bookend pass rusher opposite D-Law, what position has the biggest need as far as a long-term solution?— JEFF GALLO / BROOMFIELD, CO

Nick: I guess we're assuming that Dak will sign at some point and be the long-term solution. Right now, their starting QB is on a one-year tender that isn't signed. But, I get your point. And I would say cornerback. They really don't have anyone right now that you can for sure say is a long-term option. They hope Trevon Diggs will be that guy. But Anthony Brown isn't exactly a No. 1 cornerback. And Jourdan Lewis and Chido Awuzie are both free agents after the year. So it's hard to pinpoint one or two cornerbacks as cornerstone players for the future right now.

Jonny: There are a few ways to answer this question, but considering the player acquisition portion of the offseason is more or less over, I'll choose to approach it from a position where the long-term solution could be found on the current roster. I think the cornerback is a position where two long-term starters are not established, but that doesn't mean they don't have potential candidates. Chido Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Trevon Diggs, and even Reggie Robinson all have plenty of apparent skill. Say what you will about Byron Jones, but there was never any question over whether he should be starting. Will anyone in this group make that same case as emphatically?

Why do teams give out one-year 'prove-it' contracts? If they do prove it, like Robert Quinn and Randall Cobb, then they are free agents and sign for bigger money with other teams. Isn't there a way to sign players for longer?— HANK BAYLIS / PORTLAND, OR

Nick: And what if they don't prove it? Seems like the Cowboys added Kerry Hyder to a one-year deal. Darian Thompson got one as well. This year, the Cowboys gave a couple of linebackers the one-year deal. So there's two sides to it. Plus, the players are betting on themselves and the opportunity in front of them to perform well and parlay that into a new deal. And don't forget, Quinn was traded by the Dolphins with one year remaining on his deal. The Cowboys didn't just give him one year, that's what was left. So I get your frustration but don't forget the part that Cobb likely went to Dallas because it was ONLY a one-year deal, so he could get turn it into a big deal.

Jonny: I think the risk in that approach is relatively obvious. The players who are available for cheap one-year deals are available because they are at a point in their careers where it's hard to evaluate what they'll be going forward. You could lock a lot of money over a couple years into a player whose best production is in the past. You're right that if the Cowboys had signed Quinn to a long-term deal it would have been a great move. But hindsight is 20/20. It was a savvy move to trade for him in the first place. If it were obvious that he'd produce 11.5 sacks last season, plenty of other teams would have been trying to trade for him the same way the Cowboys did.

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