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Mailbag: Drafting for Trenches or Secondary?

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With potential question marks about the 2020 backup quarterback would the Cowboys attempt to draft a "clone" of Dak Prescott? Surely it would be better to be able to draft a replacement with a similar skill set rather than having to significantly change the offense in the event of injury? Is there anyone in the upcoming draft who would fit that bill? DAVID LEES / WORCESTERSHIRE, TX

Rob: I don't think you approach it as finding a "clone" with Dak's skill set. It's more about having a backup who can execute plays within your system. There's some overlap there, of course, because Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore plan to build the offense around Dak's strengths. But at this point in the offseason I'm not certain the Cowboys will spend a draft pick on a backup QB. Too many question marks at other positions right now, particularly on defense.

Nick: Personally, I don't think this would be the best year to draft a quarterback. I wouldn't be completely opposed if they had good value in the middle rounds. But don't forget, the draft is late April. By then, you need to have things solidified, not just with the starter of course, but also the backup. Personally, I'd like to see them sign a more veteran backup, even with more experience than what they've had. This doesn't seem like the best time to get a quarterback, especially if Dak is about to get a long-term extension. I'd want my backup to be more seasoned and someone he can rely on when he comes to the sideline.

Most feel that football starts in the trenches, and would prefer a better pass rush than a better secondary. That said, why are most mock drafts have the Cowboys selecting a cornerback or safety instead of a stud defensive lineman? GARET TANAKA / WAILUKU, HI

Rob: Because of the uncertainty around Byron Jones' impending free agency. Jones is the best player in a Cowboys secondary with multiple players who have expiring contracts either this year or next. If Jones doesn't return, they've got a big hole to fill. However, I understand the question because the Cowboys would have to replace 11.5 sacks in the lineup if they can't re-sign Robert Quinn. There are question marks at all three levels of the defense, really.

Nick: You just answered the question yourself. "Most feel that football starts in the trenches." I agree with you, and I think NFL teams also agree. That being said, the "studs" you're talking about are probably going to be gone at No. 17. I think there are better chances to get "stud" players in the secondary than on the defensive line when the Cowboys pick.

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