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Mailbag: Cap Space After Possible Dak Deal?

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When it comes to declining or still playing at a high level, where do you think Tyron Smith falls going into the 2020 season? –LEONARD CREMER / GARLAND, TX

David: Honestly, I think the criticism of Tyron's game is more about the absurd level he played at earlier in his career. He draws a few more flags than we're used to seeing and he can be beaten from time to time, but when he's healthy I still think he's among the handful of best left tackles in football. The problem is that he hasn't been fully healthy in recent memory, missing three games in each of the last four seasons. Those durability concerns are troubling for the long-term future, but I'm very confident he can still play at a Pro Bowl level in 2020 and beyond.

Jonny: Tyron has been in the league a long time and I think we start scanning for signs of their decline. To say, well he gave up a sack in Week 4 and then he was called for holding in Week 8, is not evidence of fall from glory. Tyron is 29. He's still playing at a high level and I expect him to be playing at a high level next season. The only valid concern is the cumulative years spent playing a position that's extremely tough on the human body.

Assuming Dak gets paid around 35 million, and there is limited cap space left, do you think Jerry and Stephen Jones go after Byron Jones or Amari Cooper and why? –MICHAEL SCHARCH / EASTON, MD

David: It's really not a matter of opinion. Stephen Jones has already said this offseason that Amari Cooper is his No. 2 priority. It makes sense, because a Pro Bowl receiver touches the ball far more often and has many more opportunities to impact a game than a cornerback. But it is a shame that it just doesn't seem like there's money available for Byron Jones. He's a much better than it seems like he's getting credit for, but I don't get the feeling the Cowboys want to break the bank to keep him.

Jonny: I think the Cowboys will get as creative to keep Cooper, perhaps using the franchise tag to make it happen. If Dak's contract is for the number you're throwing out there, then they're going to want him to be in the MVP conversation next season and validate the contract with immediate results. Cooper makes Dak's life easier. If someone is the casualty of all the big contracts on the roster, I could easily see it being Byron Jones. He's talented, but he's had a lot of years to make himself invaluable to the team and he hasn't done that.

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