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Mailbag: How Has DeMarcus Lawrence Progressed?; When Will Brent Be Active?

What does your study of the game film say about the progress of DeMarcus Lawrence so far? I think most fans were expecting more out of him at this point.

Bryan: If most fans were to sit down with me and study these games on a weekly basis, they would not be as critical of Lawrence and what he has done up to this point. He is playing his technique and is using his pass rush moves. There have been some snaps where he has been close on his rush, but the ball has gotten out before he arrived. As well as Jeremy Mincey has played in front of him, I think it is about time that we see more snaps for Lawrence and let him develop a little further. Missing training camp and half the season has no doubt set him back, but there are some positive signs there on tape.

David:There's no doubt the guy is talented, but if you expected him to come in after missing the first half of his rookie season and light the league on fire, your expectations might have been a tad high. I can certainly think of a handful of plays where Lawrence has caught my eye or made a big impression, but he's been awfully quiet the last two games. That's to be expected -- not just because he's a rookie, but because of the talent level around him, too. There's no quick fix for the pass rush this season. The Cowboys are just going to have to grit it out with the guys they have and hope it's enough.


I would think that the Cowboys will want to activate Josh Brent as soon as they feel he is ready with his ability to clog up the middle. They need a bigger body in there to help slow down the other team's rushing game. Do you agree?

Bryan: I think the middle of this line has done a nice job against the running game, so I disagree with you on that point.  The three best players on defense have been Tyrone Crawford, Nick Hayden and Rolando McClain. We shouldn't act like Brent will be this great defensive savior, because he I don't believe he will. Hold the point and take up blockers, yes – be that active down the line player like we have seen from Crawford and Hayden, no. It will be nice to see Brent back in the mix but you need to give those other guys a little more credit for the job they have done inside.

David:I'd like to see Brent activated, simply because it would end the waiting game on my end -- waiting to see when that will develop into a story. As long as the defensive line stays as healthy as it is, though, he is going to have to fight for a spot. The Cowboys have about nine healthy linemen, which is one more than they need for a game. Brent is either going to have to wow the coaches or benefit from an injury in front of him, I'd guess.

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