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Mailbag: Fixing These 2 Spots? Moving On From LP? 


For several years, injuries have derailed seasons past for the Cowboys due to insufficient depth quality. Quarterback notwithstanding, the two positions that stand out the most when injury occurs have been LB and OT. For these reasons, I believe those are the top two priorities for upgrades this offseason. It's tiresome each year hoping those positions stay healthy knowing the lack of quality behind them. Will it get fixed this year? – MARCO ASPAAS / VANCOUVER, WA

David: It's hard to predict if it'll be properly addressed this year, but I absolutely agree with you that it should be. Given the injury problems we've seen with Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, I don't think Ty Nsekhe alone is enough insurance to offset the problem. Same goes for linebacker – we don't 100% know what the long-term future holds for Leighton Vander Esch or Jaylon Smith. These are both positions that need to be addressed in the draft, and I would address them early.

Nick: I don't disagree with you how the lack of depth at OT last year was a big problem – like it would be with any team. Think about it, the Cowboys knew Tyron had issues and added Cam Erving. But Smith, Collins and then Erving missed most of the year, as did Zack Martin. No team could've handled those injuries to a position of strength. As for linebacker, it's going to be a problem if they don't address it this year. And they already took a hit with Joe Thomas leaving. My concerns are there for linebacker, more than tackle. But they have to add some serious depth and that will require some early-round picks at linebacker.

I am shocked by the decision to not re-sign L.P. Ladouceur. A great long snapper and virtually perfect player he had been. What do you think led to this decision? – ROBERT LOCKHART / HAWKINS, TX

David: Maybe it sounds callous to say about a guy who gave 16 years to the organization, but I think it might be as simple as saying L.P. was out of contract, and there's a new special teams coordinator in the building who'd rather work with his own people. John Fassel brought in Greg Zuerlein last offseason, and the Cowboys also just cut Chris Jones. Fassel clearly has been given the leeway to mold the special teams unit to his liking, and this is simply part of that. I do agree that it's a bit of an unceremonious end for a franchise legend, but this is a business at the end of the day.

Nick: I really can't say we know the reasoning behind it, other than the fact John Fassel wanted to work with his guy, like he did at kicker last year. But it's hard to think Ladouceur was that big of a problem if he continued to be perfect in his 16th season. I really thought he would keep going until either he got hurt or maybe had that one bad snap. And that never happened. So this is puzzling, but at least they're bringing in a guy who has made two Pro Bowls and is a little bit younger. But hats off to LP. When you think about it, has anyone ever truly had a perfect career, especially for that long? Other than a penalty in Washington that led to a longer field goal that missed, he was perfect on every attempt. Pretty impressive.

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