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Mailbag: More Aggressive In Free Agency?

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I know the core decision makers are still in place, but with a new head coach do you think free agency might be more of a priority than past years? I'm not expecting high-end signings, but it does seem a tall order to address defensive line, starting safety, starting corner, and any needs on the other side of the ball solely through the draft. - JEFF PARSONS / AMARILLO, TX

Rob: We'll find out in March when market opens. I do expect some of their impending free agents to be re-signed. That's pretty much a must when you have this many expiring contracts. I still expect them to take a more opportunistic than splashy approach to free agency, but there's no doubt in my mind that the front office will listen to the new staff's preferences with regard to personnel. Systems and philosophies are changing this year, so that's important.

David: I expect it to look a lot like last year, to be honest. The Cowboys aren't going to splash cash on outside free agents, but they will address their needs. Robert Quinn and Randall Cobb both played big roles for this team. I imagine we'll see signings like that — reasonable and affordable with high upside.

I would love to see Dallas draft a really good safety. However, do you think that Donovan Wilson will be a second-year guy who steps up? - TROY JORDAN / PIEDMONT, OK

Rob: Well, with a new staff it's a chance for Wilson to prove himself. He had a strong training camp but got hurt early in the season and only played 16 total snaps on defense. Clearly the Cowboys went with experience – Darian Thompson was a steady backup behind Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath. Wilson has a knack for being around the ball. But it wouldn't surprise me if the Cowboys look at safety in the draft, depending on what happens with Heath and Thompson in free agency.

David: I'm excited to see how Donovan Wilson looks in his second season, but banking on him isn't a solid strategy. I'd rather throw numbers at the problem. If you draft a safety and Wilson makes a leap, no worries. All that means is you've found a safety tandem you can lean on for the next few years.

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