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Mailbag: How Many Young DBs Make The Final Roster?



RYAN KELLY
ARDMORE, PA
How many of these young cornerbacks and safeties can they keep on the 53-man roster? (B.W. Webb, Terrance Mitchell, Ahmad Dixon, Tyler Patmon, Ryan Smith, etc.)

Bryan: Webb has practiced the best he has since he has been with the club so that hopefully will carry over to his play. Mitchell is very competitive and has the tools to be the type of player that you can put on the field and he can make stops. Right now he is battling his technique but should improve with time. Dixon could make it as a core special teams guy but will need to work on pass coverage for a real shot. Smith is very smart and can cover but has questions about his ability to really be a solid tackler. Patmon battles his rear off but will most likely be heading for the practice squad unless injuries require otherwise.

David: I would guess they carry 10 defensive backs, and six of those spots are going to go to Orlando Scandrick, Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox and Jeff Heath. So there's going to be healthy competition for the last spots. Personally, I think Sterling Moore deserves a spot. That's going to create some big-time competition, and special teams contributions will likely determine who gets the nod. I will say this: I like Mitchell's odds a lot.

JONATHAN ROBERTSON
SPRINGFIELD, MO
Is our offense really that good, or does playing against our "worst in the league" defense make it look as though we are better? I'm worried because I go by the philosophy that iron sharpens iron and our defense seems more like soft pillows.

Bryan:It's not that the [embedded_ad] defense is worse, it just has a ton of players that lack experience at key spots. I counted nine of 11 players on the field with rookie status next to their name running with the second defense. The offense has a veteran line except at right guard and you can say the same at quarterback, tight end, receiver and running back. This defense is shorthanded right now but I will say that the offense in all areas has improved especially along the offensive line.

David: I think you've got a point, but the offense's performance in the second half of 2013, coupled with its performance here in camp is what makes me rule in its favor. We've seen the offense have success against other teams, not just the Cowboys defense. And Zack Martin's prowess as a rookie is impressive regardless of who he's facing. I think they'll be able to maintain the momentum against other teams, though we likely won't get to see a true glimpse of that until the Baltimore game.

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RYAN KELLY
ARDMORE, PA
How many of these young cornerbacks and safeties can they keep on the 53-man roster? (B.W. Webb, Terrance Mitchell, Ahmad Dixon, Tyler Patmon, Ryan Smith, etc.)

Bryan: Webb has practiced the best he has since he has been with the club so that hopefully will carry over to his play. Mitchell is very competitive and has the tools to be the type of player that you can put on the field and he can make stops. Right now he is battling his technique but should improve with time. Dixon could make it as a core special teams guy but will need to work on pass coverage for a real shot. Smith is very smart and can cover but has questions about his ability to really be a solid tackler. Patmon battles his rear off but will most likely be heading for the practice squad unless injuries require otherwise.

David: I would guess they carry 10 defensive backs, and six of those spots are going to go to Orlando Scandrick, Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox and Jeff Heath. So there's going to be healthy competition for the last spots. Personally, I think Sterling Moore deserves a spot. That's going to create some big-time competition, and special teams contributions will likely determine who gets the nod. I will say this: I like Mitchell's odds a lot.

JONATHAN ROBERTSON
SPRINGFIELD, MO
Is our offense really that good, or does playing against our "worst in the league" defense make it look as though we are better? I'm worried because I go by the philosophy that iron sharpens iron and our defense seems more like soft pillows.

Bryan:It's not that the [embedded_ad] defense is worse, it just has a ton of players that lack experience at key spots. I counted nine of 11 players on the field with rookie status next to their name running with the second defense. The offense has a veteran line except at right guard and you can say the same at quarterback, tight end, receiver and running back. This defense is shorthanded right now but I will say that the offense in all areas has improved especially along the offensive line.

David: I think you've got a point, but the offense's performance in the second half of 2013, coupled with its performance here in camp is what makes me rule in its favor. We've seen the offense have success against other teams, not just the Cowboys defense. And Zack Martin's prowess as a rookie is impressive regardless of who he's facing. I think they'll be able to maintain the momentum against other teams, though we likely won't get to see a true glimpse of that until the Baltimore game.

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