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Mailbag: Draft Strategy In The First Round? Missing Out On Veterans?

LUKE EDWARDSHO-HO-KUS, NJ
The Cowboys were able to become very successful by targeting the offensive line in the first round in 2011, 2013, and 2014. So why switch to the best player on the board mentality after succeeding with a need-based strategy? At pick No. 28 there likely won't be a standout like Zeke left on the board so wouldn't bolstering the defense make the most sense?

Bryan: Did you know they were going to take Ryan Shazier instead of Zack Martin? Elliott wasn't a need pick either. Their plan in early rounds has been to draft their board regardless. I don't see them going away from that. 

David:It's easy to say the Cowboys were drafting for need, because their offensive line used to be in such sore shape. In retrospect, it's hard to argue that Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin weren't some of the best players available, considering that all they've done is rack up accolades since they were drafted. If there's one place I'm going to give the Cowboys the benefit of the doubt, it's probably the first round of the draft. The vast majority of their first-round picks in recent years have been great.

PHILIPPE ROSETFL
If we step back and look at the performances of DE veterans like Dwight Freeney and Chris Long, is there any regret of not pursuing them during 2016 offseason? They were cheap and could have helped a lot. Have the feeling we snubbed them a little bit.

Bryan: Chris Long had visited scheduled here and snubbed Dallas when New England jumped into the picture. Freeney -- they just didn't want. That happens in scouting. They had young guys and signed Mayowa -- felt they were good. 

David:This is going to be a perennial topic of debate, and I don't know if there will ever be a definitive winner. The Cowboys want to be younger. The fans want players who can help the team. It definitely stings seeing guys like Long and Freeney playing in a Super Bowl, but I don't think it's going to sway the front office from trying to draft and develop their own players. If they think an affordable veteran, like a Jeremy Mincey, can help them, perhaps they'll try it. But I don't think you'll see much of a change in philosophy.

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