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Mailbag: Learning Curve For Defensive Ends? Impact Of Rookies On Defense?

ADAM GORDONMORGANVILLE, N.J.

I'm extremely excited to see this Dallas defense play. I know, you're going to say I should control my excitement, but I feel these young guys on defense are going to bring a certain swagger and aggression to this team this season. Do you have the same sentiment?

Bryan: Always interested in seeing how young players respond. These kids might not have much experience on the field but they have been around the building a bunch so they shouldn't be "Star" struck. I am sure there will be some early nerves but nothing they couldn't handle. Learning curve should be small.

Rob: The hope is maybe they're a little faster, a little more dynamic in the secondary now. The other thing you keep hearing about these rookie DB's is they're really quick learners. From that standpoint, I believe the team is optimistic they can contribute early. Taco Charlton has a lot of competition to play significant snaps right away, but the coaching staff felt he laid a good foundation in the offseason.

COLLIN CLARKTRENTON, TX

Please help me understand why it takes DEs a season or two to really figure it out and make a meaningful impact? I know stopping the run requires an understanding of offensive schemes, etc. But on pure rushing downs, it seems like the DE's only responsibility is to attack the QB. I know that's a gross oversimplification as technique must be perfected, etc. But even generational talents like Von Miller and J.J. Watt took a season or two to really figure it out.

Bryan: You just named two of the most talented pass rushers in the league. Those are guys that can win on physical ability alone when their technique is a little off. Guys that aren't as talented as Watt and Miller have to rely on that technique to be successful. Too many guys come into the league and just try to run by blockers. You have to know how to break these blockers down and that is what takes the time and the reps to do so. 

Rob:Great question. This might sound like too simple of an answer, but most of the left tackles in this league are really, really good. Think about how difficult it's been for Taco Charlton to get away from Tyron Smith in practice. Offensive coordinators in this league really focus on how to take away a player on defense.

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