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Mailbag: Easiest Rookie Transitions? Outside Help? 


A few years back we saw Zeke join the Cowboys with an immediate impact to our offense, as well as CeeDee Lamb this year. However, there are also plenty of examples of rookie "slow starts" or slow development. Are there, in your opinion, "easy" positions in the team, both sides of the ball? If yes, which ones would you consider easier or harder? — JOAKIM ULLGREN / STOCKHOLM SWEDEN

David: I think the answer is always going to depend on how talented the rookie is. Zeke was a top 5 pick, and CeeDee was a top 5 talent who slipped in the draft order. Having said that, I think running back is typically a very straightforward transition. In my experience, the defensive line spots often require the most development, because guys need to adapt to the strength as well as the speed of the game.

Nick: It's usually running back that is the easiest transition from college to pro. That's one of the reasons Zeke had a great year. It also helped that he's really dang good. On the flip side, wide receiver is usually one spot that is tough to make an immediate impact. The corners are way better than they've faced before and the college offenses aren't as complex. That being said, what Lamb is doing is remarkable. Also, for all rookies, don't forget how much teaching they've lost this year due to the pandemic.

The team needs a third QB, they go get one. But can you really tell me there is no offensive lineman, defensive lineman, or safety out there that can be added today that couldn't also help this team immediately? — STEVEN CRAIG /


David: I definitely get your point, but I just think it's a matter of priority. They didn't sign Garrett Gilbert because he's an upgrade over what they have. It's just that the team cannot function without a quarterback, so you want to make sure you have adequate depth. I completely agree with you that there are some available free agents that could improve this team. But they aren't as essential as making sure you have capable quarterback depth.

Nick: I don't think there's as many guys out there as you think, especially to help immediately. There's about 500 less players on the street this year compared to other years. Yes, veterans that you know are out there but I'm sure they've all been evaluated. Most of them are probably not in great shape. You factor in they've got to pass six covid tests to get in the building and then get in shape and learn the system ... no it's just not easy to get anyone in here to make an immediate impact.


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