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Mailbag: Competition For Jobs? Pro Bowl TE?

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I do realize rookie camps have already happened, but what Cowboys might be looking over their shoulder or concerned about losing a job? Do we have any players on the present roster that might get cut or released due to salary? — CARL DORSEY / BUFFALO, TX

David: The front office has already made it clear that they'd love to shed some salary and replace it with younger, cheaper talent. I think most of that will play out at training camp, though it's not uncommon to see them shuffle some things during the summer. For me, I think the positions to watch are defensive line and defensive back. There are a lot of jobs up for grabs and not a lot of big-time contracts at those spots, which means anything is possible.

Jonny: It's always hard for me to imagine rookies looking so good in minicamp against other rookies that they warrant costing a veteran a job before training camp, but obviously it's something that happens in the NFL for financial reasons. I think the secondary was so inconsistent last year that there's only so much optimism the further you get down the depth chart of players from last season. The Cowboys just added a lot of cheap, young cornerback talent, so that would be something to look out for. And big picture, the linebacker position is something you can debate about all summer. Depending on how you define "job," I think we know that there might be a job or two that are less than safe at linebacker.

I just read a mailbag entry with someone asking about the tight ends this team will face this season. With Blake Jarwin coming back and Dalton Schultz proving he can play and not just block. Is this the year a DC TE other than 82 makes a Pro Bowl, or at least is in the conversation? — RON ALTON

David: Honestly, Schultz probably should have been in the conversation last year, though that's partially because the tight end position had a bit of a down year in the NFC in 2020. I've been very high on Jarwin for a few years now. I think he's got great hands, and is a bit more of a downfield threat than Schultz. If he's healthy for all 16 games, I could see him finishing with 700-800 yards and 5-8 touchdowns. That should be more than enough to put him in the Pro Bowl conversation – especially if the Cowboys are winning games.

Jonny: I think a Pro Bowl is probably a long shot for either of those guys. On one hand, Dak Prescott has so many weapons. There are only so many touchdowns that can be scored so if that scoring offense is relatively balanced, I don't see either tight end having eye-popping stats. And the question you referenced is correct; there are a lot of really good tight ends in the NFL and the NFC specifically. I think if you ranked Jarwin or Schultz on that list you'd run out of Pro Bowl spots before you got to either of their names.

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