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Mailbag: Contender For Playing Time At TE?


As good as Blake Jarwin is at catching passes, he'll be probably the fifth most explosive pass catcher when the Cowboys are in their (presumably) base 11 personnel, behind Cooper, Gallup, Lamb, and Elliott (or Pollard). With that in mind, would it make sense for Blake Bell to get more snaps than Jarwin since he is the better blocker? At least on early downs, Bell's better blocking might have a bigger impact on the running game than Jarwin's better pass catching has on the passing game. — TODD RIFFEY / KENT, WA

Jonny: There's a possibility it ends up playing out that way as the season goes on, but I don't think the Cowboys have that intention. They're investing $24 million in Jarwin and so they aren't going to go into the first year of that deal letting him get away with being a one-dimensional player, nor are they going to keep him on the bench. Jarwin's going to be asked to be a competent blocker so that he can warrant being on the field to make the passing attack that much more dangerous.

David: I get your point, but I don't agree. For starters, keep in mind who Jarwin will be matching up with primarily — linebackers and occasionally safeties. He's a mismatch, which makes him valuable even if he's not as dynamic as other options on the offense. On top of that, I think blocking ability is overrated. Yes, the Cowboys will need to run the ball. But the passing game is king in the NFL, and the better receiving option is the guy who needs to be on the field.

After 10 years of the Garrett regime, what position groups on both sides of the ball do you expect the biggest changes/surprises in roster moves from the status quo, since there aren't necessarily any preconceived preferences? — LANCE TAYLOR / DENVER, CO

Jonny: This might be a Rod Marinelli thing more than a Jason Garrett thing, but the almost immediate signings of Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe stood out to me. Under Marinelli (and Garrett) the Cowboys usually favored quick nose tackles, even if it meant sacrificing size up front. McCoy is bigger than the typical defensive tackle the past few years in Dallas and he does so with legitimate quickness. Meanwhile, at 350 pounds, Poe is sheer power.

David: We wrote pretty extensively about this on Monday, but I think it bears repeating. There's no way to predict how this cornerback position shakes out. You've got two high profile rookies and about four highly qualified veterans. You've got a new secondary coach in Al Harris who has a completely different idea in what he wants from his DB's. It's anyone's guess how this shakes out.

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