WASHINGTON DC, DC
Does Tyrone Crawford's emergence make it less likely that they will pick up the option on Henry Melton, allowing them to allocate resources in other areas?
Nick: I'd like to watch the last 11 games if possible. Any time a player is coming off an ACL injury he's not going to be the same, especially the ones carrying around 300 pounds. The option for Melton might be a little pricey but they could void that and still work out a new contract. And let's see if Crawford can do a little more than pressures. Yeah, he's been good but I think he's got a long ways to go, as well.
David: Nick makes a good point that Melton can certainly improve as the season goes along. Based on what we've seen through five games, though, I wouldn't be chomping at the bit to bring him back under that price tag. He's been a solid member of the rotation, given what he's making in 2013. But if he's going to come back for that much more money, he'll need to really flip the switch down the stretch of this season.
It goes without saying that Anthony Spencer is playing into game shape. What is your take on his progress?
Nick: Being on the field is major progress. I'm not sure people know just how hard of an injury this is to return from. Spencer could've easily walked away from the game given the nature of the injury, combined with his age. So being back is huge. I think he's been decent so far, but we underestimate his upper-body strength. He's so good against the run because he won't get overpowered by bigger lineman. Once he works his way back and trusts his knee even more, I think you'll start seeing more of a difference-maker.
David: If Spencer regains his Pro Bowl form, it'd be one of the best stories in the NFL. For the time being, I'm not expecting him to be much more than – once again, a decent rotational player. But honestly, given the magnitude of his injury, it would be a mistake for the Cowboys to expect him to carry this defensive line. I think the best-case scenario for him is if he can continue to work back and become more disruptive, and in another month he can team up with DeMarcus Lawrence. The two of them working with each other could become a solid combination.