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Mailbag: How Much Can Late Additions Help The Defense?


Guys, do you view Romo's back surgery in the same light as Peyton Manning's neck surgery? It did take Manning a full year almost to regain the zip on the ball. Should we have the same view of Romo?

Rowan: That's an interesting thought, but I don't think we should have the same view of the two. Manning's greatness in his ability to diagnose and sit in the pocket to throw. He's not moving around a lot and gets the ball out quick. Romo's greatness is in his ability to buy time and turn nothing into something. That requires a lot more moving around, which is tough to do with a bad back.

David: That is a great point that, to be honest, I had forgotten about. Manning did take some time to get back to being himself in 2012. I do think Jason Garrett has a point when he says it'll be a process for Romo to work himself back all the way from the injury. My question is, can he make progress on that during the grind of an NFL schedule, especially if he's taking new hits every week?


With a strong performance two weeks in a row and reinforcements like Orlando Scandrick, Anthony Spencer, DeMarcus Lawrence and potentially Amobi Okoye and Josh Brent on the way, what is the ceiling for this defense?

Rowan:The ceiling for the defense is as high as Rolando McClain will take it. I think he makes that much of a difference. All those other players will be big helps, but McClain has appeared to completely change the physicality and [embedded_ad] mindset of the defense. Scandrick will help a lot, and it'll be huge if Spencer can look at all like the player he used to be, but being without McClain would be a major loss. They don't have another reinforcement coming who can play like he does. If he can come back soon and they can get all those reinforcements, this defense can at least be a middle of the pack group.

David: I think you're asking a lot of a rookie if you're hoping for DeMarcus Lawrence to make a sizable impact this season. That's a big ask for a guy who will have sat out from late July until early November. The same goes for Okoye and Brent, who will have been out of football for an incredibly long time if they do in fact make it back to the field. I'm willing to give Spencer a little more credit, given his credentials, and he could give the pass rush a boost. If Scandrick plays at the same level as last season, and if both McClain and Justin Durant can get healthy and continue to play well, I agree with Rowan that this defense could be so-so. That doesn't sound so great, but it's a big step up from where it was in 2013.

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