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Mailbag: Improving The Roster? Byron’s Rise?

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It seems publicly Jerry and Stephen are upset and acknowledging the Cowboys’ absence in making a deep playoff run consecutively as well as the fact that they haven't won a championship in almost 25 years. With that being said, how do the Cowboys plan to improve the team if they refuse to sign impact free agent(s) and don't have a first-round draft pick? - DAVID SMITH

Bryan: I’ve seen most of the top players in this draft and none are as good as Amari Cooper from a talent standpoint. So with the 27th pick they’ve added a nice piece. It’s not too often that dipping your toe in that free agency pool works out well. You improve by drafting and developing guys like DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith and Michael Gallup. Those are the players that are going to be difference makers in the future.

Rob: The team and organization was disappointed with the way the season ended, no question. They weren’t happy just getting to the second round, they expected to play better, and they know how hard it is to get back to that stage. Your points are well taken. They probably won’t be big players in free agency because that’s not how they do business. They’ve got a lot of good young players and their development is what’s going to make this team better, more so than any possible outside addition. And, with a change at offensive coordinator, clearly they’re looking at ways scheme-wise to better maximize their players’ talents.

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I'm all for position flexibility, but do you think Byron Jones would've been a Pro Bowler sooner if he was the starting corner from day one, or was it the tutelage of Kris Richard that did it? - GARET TANAKA / WAILUKU, HI

Bryan: I think Byron Jones’ development was in direct result of Kris Richard coming on board. He had the vision for the player and how well he could play the position in this scheme. I don’t believe you would have seen Jones move if it hadn’t been for Richard coming on staff.

Rob: Richard deserves a lot of credit for instilling confidence in Jones to make that switch yet again. I remember in training camp Richard being asked if Jones might moonlight at safety again given the injuries they had at the time. He said like six times for emphasis, “Byron plays corner.” Knowing he had a permanent position, and knowing his new position coach had guided some of the best defensive backs of this era, had to be a big confidence boost for Jones.

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