Nikita Whitlock was one of the best DL in the state of Texas in high school. He also played there at Wake Forest, could we use him in that role for us?
Bryan: In talking to guys in the front office they are well aware of the type of defensive player that Whitlock once was. They are more interested in trying to develop him as a fullback and see where that takes them. Early indications are that he was really done a nice job on the scout team giving the defense a good picture. The 49ers are a team that likes to work with heavy personnel in several different formations so he has been working in those roles and been doing them well.
David: When I heard about Whitlock's high school and college history, I had a similar question. How can a defense with so much to lose afford to pass up on any potential playmaker? I think the ultimate deciding factor was probably his size, though. At 5-10, Whitlock is even smaller than Rams first-round pick Aaron Donald, and height was a big detractor for the All-American, if you'll remember. I'd be interested to see the guy give it a go, but I'm going to trust in the personnel staff's expertise at the end of the day.
Do you see the Cowboys offense executing less "quick strike" and/or big plays this season? Big plays for the offense means the Dallas defense is on the field more. I would go with a short to intermediate passing game until the defense gains some confidence.
Bryan:It's a fair question, but points are points no matter how they get them -- whether that's quickly or ball controlling [embedded_ad] drives. I feel like that if they get into the season and the defense is really struggling you might see Scott Linehan tailoring his game plan to try and help the defense but initially score no matter how much time it takes.
David: I think there's something to be said for utilizing a gameplan like that, and I'm positive the Cowboys will try it out. If you think back, they utilized some ball-control, time-eating drives in the losses to New Orleans and Chicago in 2013. The problem is that the strategy can quickly go out the window if you find yourself down by 10 or 14 in spite of your efforts. My guess is we'll see that type of thinking in games this year, but when it comes down to it you can account completely for the twists and turns of a game and how that affects what you call.