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Mailbag: How Much Better Is The D- Line Post-Draft?


Shouldn't we be concerned that so many of the guys we're counting on to play defensive line, once again, are either journeymen or guys coming back from injuries?

Rowan: That's definitely a concern and one reason Demarcus Lawrence needs to produce early in his career. The belief is Rod Marinelli can get the best out of players like Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain, and Mincey has had a breakout season before, but there are definitely more questions than answers on the defensive line. The Cowboys hope they can answer those with waves of players.

David: Yup. The bottom line is that even with the signing of Henry Melton, the re-signing of Anthony Spencer and the drafting of Lawrence, the Cowboys have about three guys who have produced over the course of a full season and who also aren't coming off injury. I think the ability of the line hinges on how well the two Pro Bowlers bounce back to bolster the guys around them.

Justin Blackmon's career in Jacksonville is most likely over. Do you think Dallas should trade a late-round pick for him? I think that would help him in his personal life being closer to home.

Rowan:I don't see it happening, but it's not the worst flyer to take. The bigger question is after another substance abuse issue what his future is for Blackmon and how [embedded_ad] many games the NFL will allow him to play. Blackmon hasn't really fit the mold of the players Jason Garrett's brought in while building the club, so I doubt it happens, but giving up a late pick as a last ditch effort wouldn't be a bad risk/reward move.

David: Part of me sees the logic in it, since Blackmon could probably be attained for a relatively low price. The problem is that he most likely isn't going to play football in 2014. The Jaguars gave his locker away earlier this week, which doesn't bode well for his availability from his suspension. So at the earliest you're looking at him joining the team in 2015, which would probably be his contract year. Of all the trade questions we get, this one actually seems doable --  but only for a low, low price. Otherwise, it's hard to justify that he can't help the team for at least a year.

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