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Mailbag: Emmitt's Comments on Dak?

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Emmitt says Dak needs to take a team-friendly deal. Do you agree, and why or why not?– JEFF MICHALSKI / MEBANE, NC

David: I think it's a pretty laughable comment when you consider that Emmitt Smith held out of two games in 1993 to make sure he got paid top dollar — and he also advocated for Ezekiel Elliott being paid top dollar just last summer. Now, you could make the argument that Smith and Elliott were better players than Dak, but Dak plays the more important position — by a long shot. As Stephen Jones has said many times, it's not the player's job to figure out the salary cap. Dak has been on a team-friendly deal for the last four years, and he has more than earned his pay day. I have a feeling Emmitt would play it the exact same way if he were in Dak's shoes.

Rob: This is very similar to Tank Lawrence's contract situation a year ago. Cowboys COO Stephen Jones emphasized the importance of having enough financial flexibility to field a competitive roster top to bottom. And Lawrence essentially told him during the negotiations, that's not my problem. Players have a limited window to maximize their earning power, and Dak was on a modest rookie deal because of his fourth-round draft position. I think the Cowboys understand that. But they got something done with Lawrence and Zeke Elliott that was fair to both sides, and I think the same will happen with Dak.

Will receiver Devin Smith be a part of the Cowboys this season? Why wasn't he utilized more other than the Redskins game? I feel he's an explosive player. Your thoughts? –ROGER MOORE / ALMA, AR

David: He's under contract for 2020, so at the very least I would guess he'll go to training camp. I honestly don't have a great answer for you, other than that Smith doesn't do much on special teams. But it was really strange that he was often inactive — even in weeks when Amari Cooper was hobbled by injury. I assume the previous coaching staff didn't think it was worthwhile to make him active strictly as a backup, preferring to favor guys who could fill more roles. That doesn't mean I agree with them.

Rob: Smith is under contract for next season, so at this point he should have an opportunity to compete for a spot again. I agree he's an explosive downfield player and his return from two major knee injuries was one of the best stories of the offseason. He got caught in a numbers crunch on most game days because the Cowboys were trying to shore up their special teams.

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