Mailbag: Lessons To Take From This Super Bowl?

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There's been a few draft projections having the Cowboys take one of the top offensive linemen if the top cornerbacks are off the board. The thought is that they need to find Tyron Smith's replacement. Call me crazy, but I can't see them using the 10th pick on anyone other than someone who can start right away. Taking an offensive lineman and having him sit for a year (or more) seems like a huge waste, don't you think? — RAY NOONE / ROCHESTER, NY

Rob: I was looking for a Super Bowl-related question to tie back to the Cowboys for the Monday after, and this will do. I agree with you on principle, Ray, because defense is without question the biggest need at this point. But watching Patrick Mahomes scramble around in circles on a bad toe all night ... if there's a lesson from the Super Bowl, it's the importance of the offensive line, especially if a big chunk of your salary cap is devoted to the quarterback position. Which, that will be the case in Dallas, too, either with a long-term deal for Dak or the franchise tag again. To me, it's like CeeDee last year: no matter the position, if a prospect is easily the best player on your board, you have to consider it. All conjecture at this point, though.

David: I definitely wouldn't call it a waste. Plenty of amazing players sat at the beginning of their careers — Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers come to mine. Overall, though, I agree with you. If they were to draft an offensive lineman at No. 10 overall, I wouldn't be surprised if he spent a year or two at guard, depending on the health of Tyron Smith and La'el Collins.

If the Cowboys are able to re-sign Andy Dalton prior to the draft, would that affect a potential draft philosophy of selecting a QB with a high pick if Dak is still unsigned? — GARET / WAILUKU, HI

Rob: Interesting thought, but I just imagine that Dalton is going to see what's out there on the open market, and if there's a starting job available elsewhere, I'd be surprised if he's back in the same role here. We'll see. He's never had an opportunity to be an unrestricted free agent in March. Remember, last year he wasn't granted his release from the Bengals until after the draft. Regardless, I don't really feel like the Cowboys would feel major pressure to draft a quarterback early, even if Dak still isn't signed by that point.

David: I don't think so. Even if Dalton re-signs, it likely wouldn't be for the long-term. And if Dak is still tagged, you have to weigh all your options. If you wind up with three highly-paid quarterbacks, you can always trade somebody. The whole scenario is incredibly unlikely, but I don't think Andy Dalton would stop them from looking to the future.

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