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Mailbag: Does Focus Now Have To Be Drafting Defense? Running Back Roles?


With the running back spot locked up, does this now turn into a defensive-minded draft or do the Cowboys try to get their quarterback since they missed on the trade up for Paxton Lynch?  If it is defense, where do you think they go? I like Noah Spence if available.

Rob: I don't think there's any doubt the Cowboys need depth on the defensive line and in the secondary. Eventually I think they'll look to draft help there over the next couple days. That being said – at the risk of sounding repetitive – they're looking for value first over need. That they apparently were willing to give up other picks try to move up for Paxton Lynch – Denver ultimately made the deal with Seattle, parting with the No. 31 and 94 picks – is proof that they're not focused solely on defense.

David: It's not lost on the Cowboys that they need to address their defense – they said as much last night. Having said that, this team did a lot of research on the quarterback position these last four months, and I'm confident they're going to pick one at some point. They still have eight more picks to make. I won't be surprised if a pass rusher and a quarterback join the roster on Friday night.


Can you tell me if there are any holes in Zeke's game? Also, with this selection, who is the odd man out?

Rob: The only real criticism you hear from outside draft observers is he doesn't necessarily have breakaway speed. Not to make a direct comparison to the NFL's all-time leading rusher, but you heard the same thing about Emmitt Smith, and he had deceptive speed in the open field. I'm guessing the Cowboys feel Elliott has the explosiveness to break loose for deep runs that might've only gone for 20 yards last year. And he's so well-rounded as a player – he's one of the better blockers in this year's running back class – that he can stay on the field for all three downs. I see him getting plenty of touches as a rookie.

David:The main reasoning behind picking Elliott is that there aren't many – if any holes. Stephen Jones said on Thursday that Elliott is the most well-rounded back to come through the draft in "many, many, many" years. As for the other question, I'm not sure there is one for the time being. It's not unusual for an NFL team to carry four running backs. On top of that, there's still the possibility that Lance Dunbar starts the season on the PUP due to his injury. I'm not sure the Cowboys plan on parting ways with any of their runners at this point in time.

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