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Mailbag: Mulling Options Along The O-Line

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With the money the Cowboys spent on Zeke, and Tyron's injury history, why should it be a foregone conclusion the Cowboys use their first pick on a defensive player, if the best tackle is available? — GARET TANAKA / WAILUKI, HI

David: First off, nothing should be a foregone conclusion in the draft. That's how you make mistakes. But my more direct answer to your question is that both Tyron Smith and La'el Collins are locked into big contracts that the Cowboys can't get away from. They absolutely need to do something to address the depth at the position, but I still think those two project to be their starters for several years. I'd prefer not to use a high pick on a third tackle.

Nick: I don't think anything is written in stone – except the fact that this defense is going to be considered pretty bad when the season is over. It's hard to think anything will change on that front. So you're right, the best player available might not be a defensive player. But I can promise you there will be a defensive stud somewhere in the neighborhood of where they pick. And if it's a defensive end, a tackle, a linebacker, a cornerback or safety, it would be a position of need. You just can't say that about all of the offensive positions. So I just still can't see the Cowboys going anywhere other than defense.

Am I alone in thinking Connor Williams is not strong enough to play left guard? Game after game you see him driven into QB/RB to blow up play or simply tossed aside. Connor McGovern or Joe Looney seem to have better strength inside. Williams could slide out to right tackle and use his quickness on the edge to replace Terence Steele. — JOE SANCHEZ / CYPRESS, TX

David: Maybe it's because there are so many problems elsewhere, but I really haven't had too much of an issue with the way Connor has played. It definitely hasn't been perfect, but I just don't consider him a liability. Having said that, I do find myself intrigued by the thought of kicking him out to tackle. If he's good at it, you might have just helped yourself address the tackle depth issue on this team.

Nick: No, you're not alone in that at all. I've made those observations as well. He played tackle in college and he was really good. His feet are quick enough to play tackle, and he's got the frame for it, especially at right tackle. If the Cowboys are deadest on him playing inside, he might be a better center than any other spot. But I just think there are too many other glaring holes on the O-line to really mess with him. Right now, Williams has played the most offensive snaps of any other player on the team. Moving him to right tackle at this point seems like a bad idea, but I would prefer to see him get some reps at tackle next offseason.

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