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Mailbag: Higher Ceiling This Year – Diggs or Lamb?

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With CeeDee Lamb being the highest-rated receiver in camp and Trevon Diggs looking like a starter at cornerback, who would you give the nod to in their camp matchups? Who will stand out more in the NFL at their respective position in Year 1? — ROBERT FERGUSON / CARROLLTON, TX

David: To be very honest with you, I don't have any specific memories of Lamb beating Diggs – but I would guess that he did, because Lamb beat everyone at this training camp. The answer is definitely Lamb. It's not 100% certain that Diggs is going to be a Day 1 starter, but we can definitely say that about CeeDee. If his season looks anything like his camp, I think he's in for a big rookie year.

Nick: Once again, this always comes down to expectations. We weren't sure if Diggs would get much playing time and when he did, he shined. He was everywhere and got his hands on the ball nearly 2-3 times a practice. On the other hand, we fully expected big things from Lamb, and he more than delivered. So while it might be close in our expectations for camp, their production wasn't really close. Lamb was one of the very best players of camp, at any position.

With Sean Lee expected to miss the first few weeks of the season, which linebacker on the current roster do you expect to see fill his role alongside Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch? — CHRISTIAN MORGAN / DERWOOD, MD

David: To answer your question directly, I think Joe Thomas will be the next man up after Jaylon and LVE. But I think we have to reimagine what we're going to see from this defense. I don't think it's going to be very common for three off-ball linebackers to take the field at the same time for this team. Instead, I'm expecting a lot of nickel looks. And when the Cowboys do go heavy, remember that Aldon Smith is technically considered a strong side linebacker. This isn't the same scheme we've gotten used to watching over the last eight years.

Nick: I really don't think that spot is going to be filled by a linebacker very much. And to be honest, I guess we could say Sean Lee wasn't going to get on the field a lot anyway. At least that's what I figured. But if he's healthy again, I'm sure they will get creative in how they use him. But Joe Thomas could be that guy. However, I don't see a lot of schemes with three pure linebackers on the field at once. They either go nickel with an extra DB, or just a 3-4 scheme and have two outside rushers as linebackers. Either way, losing Lee doesn't affect them a lot. Still, I bet he returns and provides a boost, one way or another.

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