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Mailbag: Concerns About Past Failures In The First Round? Donte Whitner?

ANDREW LOGANWOODSIDE, CA
I don't understand why people want Jalen Ramsey with the fourth pick. When was the last great DB drafted? It feels so hit or miss with the new rules favoring never touching a wide receiver. It seems better to try and get lucky later in the draft, like Seattle, than spend a high pick on a DB again, like they did on Goodrich, Newman, Jenkins and Claiborne and the second contract of Roy Williams. It seems like QB or a pass rusher is the smartest use of a top 5 pick. Haven't we seen enough DB busts in the last decade or so?

Bryan: You can't allow things that happened in the past affect the way that you draft. If you allowed that then you would never select anyone. I do agree with you about a quarterback or defensive end being the selection, but I will also warn you that both those position groups -- especially edge rusher -- have a higher potential for failure than most positions.

David: My advice to you would be to not let past disappointments color the future. Because for every Morris Claiborne, there's a Patrick Peterson or a Darrelle Revis. That Seattle secondary you praised also has Earl Thomas, who the Seahawks selected No. 14 overall in 2010. If the staff likes Ramsey enough to draft him fourth, then the failures of years past should play no factor at all.

WAYNE WATSONPALATKA, FL
I've been visiting this website long enough to know that every big named free agent will inevitably be connected to the Cowboys, but can we examine the impact that Donte Whitner could have on this defense?

Bryan: I need to sit down and study Whitner but my gut tells me that Stephen Jones and Will McClay are really more interested in seeing what these safeties in college could offer before adding a safety that has age and requires more funds than they want to spend.

David: Honestly, I usually roll my eyes at these free agent suggestions. Whitner is a little different, though. He's a solid player and the timing of his release may drop his price a tad. Having said that, I'm just not sure the Cowboys are interested in taking on larger, veteran contracts. My guess is they'd rather draft a 21-year-old safety than sign a 30-year-old free agent.

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