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Mailbag: Could projected lineup win NFC East?


Reading Nick Eatman's early projection of the Cowboys' 2024 starting lineup made me think that the team may not be all that bad next season. They still have several top-end players. So what would your projection be for that projected starting lineup? Could they win the NFC East as it stands now? How far could they go?Mark Webster/Grand Prairie, TX

Nick Harris: I don't think there's any question that the firepower of 2023's roster won't be present in 2024, and that makes sense when you lose guys like Tyron Smith and presumably Stephon Gilmore, but I think there's a large overreaction going on within the fan base as to how big of a step back the team could make next season. I still think this is comfortably a playoff team with the potential to win the division. The Giants and Commanders are searching for how to make their way up from the bottom of the league while the Eagles are dealing with very similar offseason problems as the Cowboys. When you have pieces like Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons, I think you'll always have a shot.

Mickey: That's a tough ask there, Mark, and the way I feel, good thing they don't have to open the XFL season this weekend. There are two assumptions I'd have some concerns about, that cornerback Trevon Diggs and linebacker DeMarvion Overshown return from ACL surgery immediately good as new. Meaning they need some insurance refurbishing at those two positions that let this team down last year in the playoffs, with the ability of Green Bay to be able to run the ball with the Cowboys short at linebacker and the Packers ability to shred the Cowboys trying to play zone in the secondary short one cornerback with Stephone Gilmore playing with a harnessed shoulder. And I'd have enough concern at left tackle, to the point of moving Tyler Smith there and plugging T.J. Bass at left guard. Let's say this, good thing free agency isn't over with and that the draft is exactly one month away. Still work to do to contend for back-to-back NFC East titles.

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