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Mailbag: Go Offensive Line Or Robinson At 26?


If your top offensive guard/tackle and Bijan Robinson is there at pick No. 26, who would you pick? I say solidify the line. What say you? – Eric Auston/Newport News, VA

Patrik: This is definitely one spicy meatball, I tell you what. The Cowboys clearly need to find THE answer to their void at left guard created by the departure of Connor McGovern, a need that could send shockwaves throughout the entire offensive line, save for Zack Martin. That said, Bijan Robinson is a consensus top-10 pick that I feel won't make it out of the top 15 in a worst-case scenario; but stranger things have happened (hi, CeeDee). If all of the planets and stars align to conspire for Robinson to be on the board at No. 26, you make that call and don't think twice about it. He instantly takes the offense to another level and doesn't preclude you from still using a Day 2 pick at iOL, though it would likely not be Steve Avila or O'Cyrus Torrence. This would be my formula, especially considering the team isn't exactly all set at RB yet, seeing as Tony Pollard isn't on a long-term deal at this moment and Ezekiel Elliott is now released. I say that to say let's not pretend RB isn't a need as well, and Robinson is flat-out different.

Kurt: Robinson being there at the 26th pick seems unlikely, and if he is, passing on him would be awfully tough. But consider this: Would Emmitt Smith be the NFL's all-time leading rusher if he wasn't running behind one of the best offensive lines in NFL history? In the 1990s, Smith earned eight trips to the Pro Bowl, but he had six different linemen earn a whopping 21 Pro Bowl nods combined during the decade. Would DeMarco Murray have led the league in 2014 with 1,845 rushing yards, easily his highest total in seven seasons, if he didn't have three Pro Bowlers – Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick – blocking for him? Or would Darren McFadden have topped 1,000 rushing yards the next year for only the second time in his career (after only reaching 700 yards once in the previous four seasons) if those same three Pro Bowlers weren't still road-grading for him? And is it any coincidence that just last season the Eagles' Miles Sanders surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career thanks to running behind three Pro Bowlers on Philadelphia's offensive line? The point is, if you've got the big men up front, you don't necessarily need an all-world running back in the rushing game and it obviously helps your passing attack as well. With the many questions surrounding the Cowboys' offensive line, picking up another impact blocker might not be the sexy choice, but it sure could be the right one.


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