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Mailbag: Is Carr Assured Of A Starting CB Job?

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CHRISTOPHER BINDER
LORTON, VA

What are you expecting to see out of DeMarcus Lawrence in his first training camp? Is he a good fit for the 4-3 defense?

Bryan: This is one of my favorite subjects to write about. I expect him to be the starter when this team opens the season against the 49ers. To do that, he is going to have to have an outstanding camp with his technique and grow in his understanding of his responsibilities in the scheme. I will continue to say this and believe it: Leon Lett will play a huge role in his development each day and working against Tyron Smith will toughen him up to the point that he will have some frustrating practices but in the long run, it will make him a better player.

David: I'm not going to put the same expectations on the guy that Bryan seems to be calling for. There's no doubt he looks talented, but I think the Cowboys are going to stick with their plan to platoon him and ease him into the process of playing regularly. I think Jeremy Mincey is the starter when the season opens, with Lawrence spelling him and entering the game for specific situations. If he reaches five or six sacks, or potentially more, I consider that a fantastic start.

KYLE MOYER
COLUMBUS, OH

Why does everyone assume Brandon Carr is assured a starting job and the fight is between Mo Claiborne and Orlando Scandrick? Orlando was our best CB last year and if Mo is playing to his potential, why wouldn't Carr be delegated to the 3rd CB?

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Bryan: There is no question this needs to be the case. If Claiborne and Scandrick are the two best players, then they need to start. But what you have to remember, and this was an excellent point by Nick Eatman, that 60 percent of the defensive snaps are played in nickel. If that holds true under Marinelli, then you will see all three of the corners on the field at the same time regardless. So if you follow that line of thinking, then who is the starter is really not that important. What is important, is that they are all playing well when on the field.  

David: That has indeed been the coaching staff's favorite line – all three of these guys are essentially starters, so to some degree I think it's a moot point. But beyond that, I think the staff knows that Carr's greatest strength is working one-on-one on his side of the field. The hope is that a larger amount of man coverage will make him more comfortable, as he struggled with some aspects of this defense last year. I'm just not sure his skillset translates as well to the nickel role as it would with Scandrick or Claiborne. 

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