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Mailbag: Interest in DeCastro? Pollard Punt Returns?


I don't understand why Tony Pollard hasn't been mentioned as a potential punt returner. He was such an electric kick returner in college and it seems like those skills aren't being utilized because of the frequency of touchbacks in the NFL. Is returning punts that much different? — JOSEPH DIGIACOPO / MORRISTOWN, NJ

David: I don't have any personal experience here, but I bet John Fassel would say there's a big difference when it comes to judging your position on the field, not to mention the direction and placement of the kick. I don't completely disagree with you, though. Pollard is undeniably explosive, and the Cowboys need to find ways to get him more touches. I don't think it will happen, but I wouldn't be opposed to Pollard getting a shot at that job.

Nick: I obviously have never returned either, but my understanding is yes, it's very different. It's not just about catching the ball, but there's an understanding of where you are on the field and getting a feel for the timing of the punt and the players coming in. I remember Bill Parcells saying one time that you have to be a little crazy in the head to return punts. Basically, just saying that you have to be somewhat fearless. And I'm not mentioning Pollard here, just that it's a different type of return. Personally, I like where things stand in the return game. Pollard is a guy that needs more touches so he goes to kick return. Lamb needs more touches and he returns punts. I'm fine with this setup.

I was wondering if there's any reason we should feel any optimism or real hope that the front office will at least kick the tires on David DeCastro since he seems to be a better than average guard and would be at the least a solid competitor to Connor Williams for the guard spot. — RONALD GILLIARD / WEST WARWICK, RI

David: I know y'all get tired of hearing the same answers to your questions, but I doubt it. DeCastro's All-Pro credentials are undeniable, but he got released because of durability – not his playing ability. He had ankle surgery last year, and reports indicate it's still bothering him. Any team that signs him would probably like to have more information on his timetable to be able to play. On top of that, the Cowboys already have Connor McGovern as a solid option behind the duo of Williams and Zack Martin. This team's need is more at center than guard, so I think I'd be surprised to see them make this move.

Nick: Hey I get it, there's nothing else to really talk about right now and Cowboys fans just want their team to get better. So when names like this come across the wire, it's natural to see how it might fit. Personally, I don't see this one being of interest to the Cowboys. They've got some needs at center, but not really at guard. They've got Connor McGovern as a backup guard and he needs to get on the field here at some point so he can be evaluated before it's too late and free agency sneaks up on him. If DeCastro was completely healthy, that'd be one thing. Then again, he probably wouldn't have been released. So I would imagine there's just other teams with better needs for him.

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