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Mailbag: Coaching Staff's Faith In Lance Dunbar? How Deep Is This Roster?

JOSH HANSONSAN ANTONIO, TX
This might be an irrelevant question now that they traded for Christine Michael (good trade by the way), but with Dunbar missing the whole preseason and him seeming to be injured a lot, why do you think they kept him over Gus Johnson, who I thought had a great camp and preseason?

David:Simply put, Dunbar brings a skillset that none of the Cowboys' other running backs possess. Don't expect him to be a guy that gets more than five or six carries a game. Scott Linehan values him because he can be moved around the formation and can be a mismatch for linebackers to have to deal with. The coaching staff is determined to give him a bigger role this season, so we'll see how that works out. But it's very likely that most of Dunbar's contributions come more as a receiver than a runner, in my opinion.

Bryan: All you really need to know about Dunbar is what Jerry Jones said about him in training camp – there were Mondays after games where, after studying the tape, he wondered why he wasn't getting more opportunities. By saying that, Jones has put pressure on the staff to try and get him more involved in the offense to go along with what he already does on special teams.

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RICHARD A.ALBUQUERQUE, NM

Comparing two players (Ernie Sims 2013 and Jasper Brinkley 2015) gives me hope this defense is going to be good this year. In 2013, the Cowboys counted on Sims to be part of the defensive rotation, Brinkley was going to be the same thing. Difference is this year Brinkley can't make the team. Our talent and depth alone is giving me hope our team will be much better off this year, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Thoughts?

David: There's no doubt that this roster is deeper than the ones Jason Garrett was working with in years past. He probably wouldn't want to admit that publicly, but it's evident just from looking at the last 10 or 12 players to make the cut. The Cowboys had to release defensive linemen who likely would have been playing for them in 2013. The same goes for Brinkley, who likely could have started on that 2013 defense. It's been a quick and impressive transition by the front office.

Bryan: The goal of the front office was to improve their pass rush and with the addition of Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory – they have done that. Brinkley was added as protection for Rolando McClain, but when Andrew Gachkar showed that he could line up and play as a Mike, then there was no reason to keep Brinkley and they could carry a player at another position.

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