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Mailbag: Going Light At RB? Alarcón's Progress?


With Rico Dowdle being out for season (unfortunate as he was having a heck of a preseason and showed a lot), do you think the Cowboys will opt to carry only two RB's, allowing the Cowboys to go long on the line and at DB? Or do you think they will maybe carry a FB that they might not made the 53 before? — MATTHEW WHITE / PEYTON, CO

David: Injuries happen, but this is a real bummer for a guy who was having a great camp. I absolutely agree with you, though. Unless they go out and claim someone next week, I can't think of a reason why they need to carry a third running back. They can assuredly stash Ja'Quan Hardy or Brendan Knox on the practice squad – or maybe even both. The same goes for Nick Ralston. Going light at the position would allow them to keep extra bodies on the defense, and that feels more important. If something happens to Zeke or Pollard, that can be addressed later on.

Rob: It's certainly possible they only go with two running backs, Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard, on the active roster to start out. Remember, the dynamics of the 53-man roster are a little different now with a 16-man practice squad and the ability to call up two players a week to the game-day roster. Before his injury, I thought Sewo Olonilua had a great chance of making the team as a fullback who could handle some tight end responsibilities. Mike McCarthy values the fullback position, but it remains to be seen if Nick Ralston can grab one of those final spots.

Being a lifelong Cowboys fan from Mexico City, I was wondering, what´s your evaluation so far from Isaac Alarcon, do you think at some point he could be on the active roster? — MARCO ANTONIO PEREZ / MEXICO CITY

David: Considering the circumstances, I think Isaac has had a nice camp and seems to have developed a lot from last summer. Fortunately for him, he does have a roster exemption, so the Cowboys can keep him around without having him count against the 53-man roster limit – or even the practice squad. He is essentially an extra body. To be honest, I'd be surprised to see him crack the active roster, but who knows what might happen in the future if he sticks around here and continues to progress for another year.

Rob: Episode 3 of "Hard Knocks" actually gave us a pretty good synopsis of Alarcon's progress. The coaches were pleased with his performance in the Hall of Fame game and he's had some ups and downs since. But it's obvious he works hard at it, and he's had a transition inside to guard this offseason. Like Dave said, the roster exemption will allow him to continue his development.

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