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Mailbag: Can McFadden, Morris Each Get 1,000 Yards? Middle Pass Rush?

CHARLES CHAMBERLAINRISING STAR, TX

Has any NFL team ever had two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season, and how are the chances that both Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris could do that?

Nick: I am not convinced both players will be on the team this year. We will see what happens with the draft but it's conceivable that one of those vets doesn't make it out of camp. But if they're both viable options in the running game, I guess it's possible for that to happen. You have to average 63 yards per game to get 1,000 so maybe two guys can do that. I still think it will be a young rookie and then one of those vets if two guys are going to get over 1,000 yards.

Rob: There have been dual 1,000-yard rushers on the same team six times in NFL history, never on the Cowboys. I don't see that happening here next season simply because Scott Linehan seems to prefer using one back as the primary ball-carrier. The offense tried a rotation last season, but the group never found a rhythm until McFadden settled in as the featured back, partially out of necessity. Jerry Jones said last week he sees McFadden and Morris having important roles, but McFadden getting more carries. Two thousand yards would be a very good offensive total, however they're divided among the backs.

JOE LENKERYORK SPRINGS, PA

Our fan base is very concerned about not having edge rushers to create a pass rush. Is it possible that the coaches and scouting department may be thinking "outside the box" by focusing on an internal pass rush vs. an edge rush? Now with Tyrone Crawford and Cedric Thornton along with a deep level of defensive tackles that can push the pocket in this draft, not to mention that quarterbacks say internal pressure is much more disruptive than edge pressure, is that an approach that could work on the field, in the draft and save on the salary cap with the cost of edge rushers now?

Nick: I know we're getting antsy about the season but it's still March. Can we wait until the draft is over and maybe when free agency is all complete before we realize what they've got? Yeah they need pass rushers but every team does. I don't think there's a philosophical change to get an inside rush now. Rod Marinelli wants all of them to get up the field so I just think they're looking to get a rotation of guys who can make a difference. But something tells me we will have a much different opinion about this position after the draft.

Rob: I agree with you that the middle rush is very important because it prevents quarterbacks from stepping up in the pocket, but every great defense has had defenders off the edge disrupting the quarterback's timing. Simply put, you need both. The Cowboys have continued looking for potential help at defensive end this week, holding a visit with free agent Jason Jones, and pass rush is very likely to remain an important draft priority.

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