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Mailbag: Impressions Of Team After Minicamp? Tapper's Starting Potential?

ERIC BAILONPHARR, TX

I've been able to see a little tape of Charles Tapper at Oklahoma. He's a big DE that plays with power. I feel like he will play even better in this 4-3 scheme. Do you think he has potential to earn a starting role in the future?

Bryan: When the coaching staff moved him to the right side in these OTAs and mini-camps I thought he was a much better player. Looked more comfortable. There is no doubt that the scheme at Oklahoma hurt him and now he can just rush up the field instead of just being a two-gap player. He is going to need to develop his technique more if he is going to be an every down starter but the traits are there for him to have a chance.

Rob: I think at the very least, he has potential to be a significant part of the defensive end rotation rushing from either side. It's really tough to evaluate linemen without pads on, so his development will be measured best in training camp and beyond. But you can see he has a quick first step and he's a terrific athlete who ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at the combine.

GARY HOLBROOKUNDERHILL, VT

Could you all give us your thoughts on how this team looks now that minicamps are completed compared to 2014 team at this point?

Bryan:I had my doubts about the 2014 team – I didn't see them winning 12 games and getting into the playoffs. If you want to base this season on how healthy Tony Romo looked then this team will just as good as it was in two seasons ago. That's the development that should give Cowboys fans the most hope.  

Rob: I wasn't here in 2014 but I can tell you there's a similar assessment of this year's roster from outside observers. The offense looks as complete as it's been in many years, but defensively they again don't have a pass rusher who's produced a double-digit sack season. Stephen Jones believes this defense looks better than the group two years ago in part because Sean Lee didn't play in 2014 due to injury, Byron Jones wasn't on the team and Tyrone Crawford has two years' more experience at this point.

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