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Mailbag: Changing Jaylon's Position?


Do you think adding Jaylon Smith to the defensive line as a pass rusher would provide more speed and better coverage for our defense? — MARTIN DEAN / FORT MADISON, IA

David: This is something we talked about often during the offseason. And while Jaylon did blitz and rush the passer from time to time, it's not quite what I envisioned. I think you'd probably have to commit to a true 3-4 if you were going to do that, because I'm not sure Jaylon would do well putting his hand in the dirt. But to answer your question more directly, I think it's definitely something they should consider. Getting more production out of Jaylon Smith should be a top priority for this coaching staff, whether it's Mike Nolan or someone else.

Jonny: I like the idea because I just don't think that Jaylon's performance quite justifies his contract, but the fact of the matter is that he is a 2021 starter for this defense. I'm all for adjusting his role because he is one of, if not the most athletic player on the roster, so there's always the chance he will thrive in a different role. I don't see anything that would prohibit him from getting to the quarterback regularly, and what an asset that could be.

Why are you afraid to engage in a discussion on trading Dak Prescott? Trade him for the number two or three pick in the draft to pick a QB with as much upside who is younger and cheaper. Save all the money Dak would demand and use it to retain players or sign new ones in free agency. Swing for the fences instead of laying down a bunt. — BRIAN DEPUTY / WOODBURY HEIGHTS, N.J.

David: I guess because I'm not naive enough to think a top draft pick is guaranteed to be better. Sure, everyone would pick Patrick Mahomes over Dak Prescott. You could even argue Josh Allen or Deshaun Watson. What about Mitchell Trubisky, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota or Blake Bortles? That's the very real risk you're taking drafting a top quarterback. So, no thanks. I'm just fine keeping the current quarterback, who is easily one of the 5-6 best in the league.

Jonny: This isn't Madden. When you trade a top-five quarterback so that you can draft a guy who ends up being Sam Darnold you don't get to simulate seasons until you have the caliber quarterback you want. It would be great to have a quarterback like Josh Allen on a rookie contract. But the Cowboys did have that: They had Dak Prescott on a rookie contract. And the Bills are going to pay Josh Allen the same money that Dak wants. You draft a great quarterback and eventually you have to pay him and the return on investment is you don't have to live through a 6-10 season.

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