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Mailbag: Considering Dez's Long-Term Future?; Satisfied With D-Line?

Given the uncertainty surrounding Dez Bryant, is it not too far-fetched to think Dallas moves on from him after this season, and maybe starts looking for his replacement sooner than later?

Rob: Yeah, that's pretty far-fetched at this point. If there's no deal by July 15 and this thing drags all the way through the upcoming season, the club has the option to franchise Dez again. It's not a situation where Dez wants out of Dallas, either. I believe both sides want a deal done, but they've got to eventually find some middle ground on the money and the structure.

David: Barring something truly unforeseen, I feel pretty confident Dez will be part of this roster for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Even if the Cowboys franchise him a second-straight time, he'd be due a moderate pay raise on his first tag. In that scenario, Dez would be due somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million for two seasons of work – which I can't see him turning down. I could conceivably see the Cowboys parting ways with him at that point, which would take us to the spring of 2017. But that's too far into the future to bother speculating on. One way or another, Dez will be in Dallas for the foreseeable future.

I wanted to know if the coaching staff believes that all their defensive line problems are over since the acquisition of Greg Hardy? When are we going to get serious about upgrading this line?

Rob: Taking a calculated risk on Hardy was a serious step toward upgrading the line. I don't think the Cowboys can say they've got enough pass rushers, though, because they're still unsure how many games Hardy might miss via NFL suspension. I mocked Eli Harold at No. 27 for that very reason. Doesn't mean they have him rated that highly, but he's a 4-3 fit as an edge rusher. That's a position they should look at closely on draft weekend.

David: The pass rush obviously needs to improve, but I don't see how you can knock the Cowboys for their efforts to this point. They signed the best pass rusher in free agency to a low-risk deal in Greg Hardy, and they brought back a decent rotational piece in Nick Hayden. I think it'd be smart to draft either an end or a tackle on the first or second day of the draft, and that would be a pretty strong starting point for the 2015 edition of the D-Line. Regardless of how they draft, a lot is going to depend on Hardy's suspension, not to mention continued improvement from Jeremy Mincey, Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence.


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