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Mailbag: Defense's Potential? New LB's Impact?



Is it just me or does it seem like this year's defense has more potential to be special than it has in almost 20 years? It seems like every day, plays are being made and we have more depth available.

Rob: Fast, aggressive might be the two best adjectives for this defense in camp so far – particularly the linebackers and secondary. Jaylon Smith looks like he's taken another step physically. The young secondary has promise. And given the absence of Maliek Collins and David Irving so far in practice – Collins is working his way back now – I'm pleasantly surprised at how well the tackles have played against this offensive line.

Bryan: Certain spots do look good. I have concerns at defensive tackle and safety still with depth. Pass rush has a chance to be really good if they can find the right rotation with these ends. Linebackers might be the best group on the defense.


Trying to temper the excitement for the addition of Joe Thomas after a great performance Thursday and a seemingly great camp so far. How would you compare Thomas to the recently departed Anthony Hitchens, who was such a valuable piece for this defense?_

Rob: Thomas might be a little more stout frame-wise than Hitchens, who's now with the Chiefs. It's interesting you bring this up. I thought Hitchens was among the best players in Cowboys camp last year, and this year Thomas is in the top 10. He can play all three linebacker spots, including the WILL behind Sean Lee, though Leighton Vander Esch has been getting a little work there as camp has gone on.

Bryan: Wish this defense still had Anthony Hitchens along with Joe Thomas. I will say that Thomas backing up Sean Lee will pay dividends. His ability to run and finish plays has shown up in these practices and the game. It's become one of those sneaky gets from the pro scouting department.

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