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Mailbag: How Will Marvin Austin Fit With The D-Line?


Marvin Austin was supposed to be a top-10 talent two years ago, but he has been cut twice since then. What do the Cowboys see in this guy, and will he make an impact this week in Detroit?

David: It seems like Austin's woes might be of the motivational kind, and if that's the case, I can't think of anyone better to bring him around than Rod Marinelli and Jason Hatcher. As for what they see, Jason Garrett said himself the Cowboys graded Austin as a second-rounder in 2011, and they think he can play both defensive tackle spots. I'm not expecting him to do too much in Detroit, however, as most of these no-name additions have taken a week or two to get their feet wet. But it's certainly not out of the question.

Rowan: They see an opportunity to squeeze out whatever made Austin a second-round pick just two years ago. They've made a living this year taking players who were previous draft picks – players that, at one point or another, teams decided were talented enough to spend a pick on – and getting a return later in their careers. Drake Nevis was a third-round pick in the same draft as Austin. George Selvie, Nick Hayden and Jarius Wynn, to name a few, were all late-round picks. If the Cowboys can get anything out of Austin like they've gotten from Selvie, they'll have hit big. That's asking a lot, though. I wouldn't be surprised to see him make an impact quickly. Wynn was signed last week and started against the Eagles.

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What are the chances of Dallas giving a contract extension to Jason Hatcher? He deserves it. I personally would rather see them make a play for him rather than Anthony Spencer. Also praise goes out to the scouting department. This pieced together D-Line is not that bad. What are your thoughts on the play of Drake Nevis?

David: I'm not counting on Hatcher or Spencer being in the longterm plans of this franchise, to be honest with you. I don't think the Cowboys have the cap room. On top of that, Hatcher is on the wrong side of 30 to be receiving a long deal. Nevis has looked impressive without stockpiling stats, as it seems he has a knack for disrupting the pocket.

Rowan: The chances probably aren't great, but it's not because they don't want Hatcher. He's playing the best football of his career in a contract year, so he's going to get paid big bucks. It's possible he's the best interior 4-3 lineman out there right now, racking up six sacks already. The Cowboys have a handful of obstacles to clear up cap-wise before they consider bringing on a lengthy extension for the 31-year-old. Right now, I'd say the odds are slim, but he's been the best and one of the only recognizable players on a successful group of lesser touted linemen on the Cowboys. Nevis has added to that, and appears to have been a solid pickup as a player with high upside who can push the pocket from the inside.

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