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Mailbag: Defense Dominant? Safeties' Progress?


There seems to be a shift taking place, due in part to injuries and depth, toward the defense rather than the offense now becoming the most dominant side of the team. Is it realistic to say that the Cowboys will lean more on their defense to win games than they depend on the offense to score points? It seems like it hasn't been that way for a long time but may be the case currently. - TONY GOSS / DANVILLE, IL

Bryan: No, this offense will still carry the team. Running the ball, staying ahead of the chains and finishing drives will benefit this defense. Where this defense will need to pick up the slack is when the offense does build a lead that they're able to get off the field on third downs by creating a pass rush and forcing turnovers.

Rob: This does have a chance to be the strongest defense Rod Marinelli's had here. But they'll also face some quality quarterbacks all season long. The offense will have to score points consistently. As banged up as the offensive line is right now, I think that's still possible.

With all this talk about needing safety help, how are the undrafted rookies looking so far? I know Tyree Robinson caught my attention meeting the back in the hole, but is there more to these players you guys get to see every day? - CHRIS CERDA

Bryan: Tyree Robinson has been the best one of the young guys. He's a lot like Kadeem Edwards on offense -- Robinson is playing to keep his job on the 53-man roster through his play. He's yet to make any major mistakes and he has tackled well. He could force this front office not to look for help if he continues to play well.

Rob: Dominick Sanders just got here but made a ton of plays at Georgia. Robinson made a nice play in seven-on-seven work this week, stepping in front of a deep ball to Lance Lenoir. He's been the best of the group, but Plan B here is moving Jeff Heath to free safety until Xavier Woods gets back.

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