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Mailbag: Forecasting Brandon Carr's Role?

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With the unfortunate news that La'el Collins is likely headed to injured reserve, who are the projected starters on the offensive line for Week 1? — J.M. SMITH / ST. CHARLES, MD

Rob: Head coach Mike McCarthy hasn't really announced starters, but perennial Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith and Zack Martin lead the group, obviously. Based on experience, Cameron Erving is the logical choice to fill in for Collins at right tackle. Same at center: Joe Looney's experience is valuable there. There was some question about Connor Williams' initial workload in camp coming off last year's ACL injury, but McCarthy said recently he's been "very impressed" with the third-year guard. Again, nothing official, but seems like Williams put himself in position to reclaim a starting spot with a strong camp.

David: As Rob outlined, it's pretty easy to forecast four of the five starters. The obvious question is right tackle, given that La'el looks like he'll be unavailable. Cam Erving is the logical choice to fill in, but I'm keeping a close eye on Brandon Knight. He filled in admirably on a couple occasions last season. Unfortunately, he injured his ankle last week in practice. But if he's healthy enough to be available, perhaps he can push for some playing time.

First let me say I have always liked Brandon Carr. You pretty much knew what you were going to get, week in and week out. My question is, does he have the ball skills to be an impact at safety? — PHIL DISHMAN / WICHITA, KS

Rob: Carr did a solid job back there for Baltimore last season, based on everything we've heard. And his first season with the Cowboys back in 2012 he did the exact same thing when asked to move from corner in certain situations. I think it's a really smart signing to the practice squad because he fits exactly what the Cowboys continue to emphasize with the defensive backs: be able to play anywhere. And like you said, he's reliable. A terrific locker room guy, too.

David: The blunt truth is that I currently have no idea what to expect from Brandon Carr. He's a longtime corner, but it sounds like the Cowboys might want him to play some safety. He's currently on the practice squad, but the new rules could allow for him to be called up at a moment's notice. It's a reasonable guess that he'll be available on Sunday night against the Rams, but there's no way to know for sure. So, right at this moment, it's hard to predict Carr's role. But he's a solid player that should be a good addition to the locker room. I'm not mad about it.

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