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Mailbag: Finding Pass Rush Help From Outside?


We've been talking for months about the possibility of Randy Gregory returning to the lineup. Now, there are reports about the Cowboys possibly signing Aldon Smith. Would these additions fix their issues at defensive end? MITCH T. / DALLAS, TX

Nick: This looks like the Cowboys are taking "exploring all options" to another level. Again, nothing seems concrete about getting either Gregory or Smith on the team. There seems to be hurdles for both of them. But if they both get reinstated, and both can somewhat resemble what they've been, then they could be a big addition. Again, the Cowboys could also look at guys like Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen and of course, the draft. But it seems like the Cowboys are looking for a low-risk/high-reward situation at this position. And not just one, but two of them.

David: Leave it to the Cowboys to think outside the box. We've known for a while they weren't going to pay at the top of the market, and we've known for a while they need help at defensive end. We'll see if it actually works out the way they intend, but it would be a nice little haul if they can find a way to get Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith onto their roster. Who on Earth knows if either guy can play up to their potential, but if they can – it'd go a long way toward helping the pass rush. Low risk, high reward. What's not to like?

It seems we have several players with guard/enter experience but not much behind the tackles. Do you think it's time to invest in a high pick a tackle? GREG LANGFORD / HATTIESBURG, MS

Jonny: As a rule, I think it's probably never a bad time to invest a high draft pick in a tackle if you see long-term talent in the player, but the Cowboys have put themselves in a position where they need the draft to not only go well, but they need to find at least two or three players ready to contribute and excel as rookies in order to contend for a Super Bowl. If they draft a great tackle for the future I don't think they'll regret it, but I think they're going to be looking to invest high draft picks on guys that will see the field in best case scenarios, not worst case scenarios.

David: I know Tyron Smith is getting older, and I know the Cowboys could use a good, young tackle to add depth to the position. But I'm still not sure I could talk myself into doing it with a top 50 pick. The needs around the rest of the roster are simply too great. That said, I'd be perfectly happy to draft a talented young tackle in, say, Round 4. He'd have two great mentors in Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, and he'd be a heck of a depth piece – not to mention a possible starter in the future.

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