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Mailbag: Drafting To Fix The Run Defense?


After last year and the spate of injuries, do you think the Cowboys should keep all their draft picks or trade down to accumulate more and build depth? Or should they package their Day 3 picks to try to move up or acquire Day 2 picks and draft fewer but higher potential starters? — MATT GRAVES / RICHMOND, VA

David: I don't think there's much you can do to prepare for a rash of injuries like we saw last season. In a game this violent, at a certain point you simply need to have better luck. The Cowboys already hold 10 picks, so if they used all of those selections, it's a good bet that not all 10 guys would make the team. I'm typically the type of guy that likes to hold as many picks as possible. But if the right opportunity presents itself, I'd be happy to trade up and snag someone.

Rob: It's hard to imagine 10 draft picks making the team this year despite the roster needs they still have. If there's an opportunity to bundle picks and move up to draft a prospect they really like, why not? They've done it before. When you've got multiple picks in three rounds, that's always a possibility. But it's got to be the right situation, and you've got to find a team willing to move back.

A lot of questions regarding CB at No. 10 have been addressed. What about stopping the run? Why not take Micah Parsons at 10 to help stop the run and use him to also rush the passer? His 40 time was nothing to balk at. CB is deep in this draft. Trade up in Day 2 with the draft capital to address CB. — MARIO GONZALES / VIRGINIA BEACH, VA

David: For me, it comes down to positional value. What's harder to do: run and tackle, or cover well? The answer is cover, in my humble opinion. The NFL is full of guys who can run to the ball and hit somebody, but great cover players are rare and extremely valuable. I'd rather use No. 10 on someone who can help fix my coverage. There are about seven linebackers I'd be happy to draft on Day 2 who can help improve the run defense.

Rob: I've been pretty consistent this offseason saying interior defensive line/run defense is arguably the biggest need. They've taken steps to address that in free agency with additions up front and signing Keanu Neal, a physical box player. I also continue to say, just find a playmaker on defense at 10, no matter the position. I do think cornerback might be the best long-term move because it's a premier position that commands a major salary on a second contract, but that would be five years down the road.

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