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Mailbag: O-Line Draft Needs? More Hurry-Up?


It's mock draft season and so far I've seen the Cowboys getting a center or guard in Round 1 of mocks. If the Cowboys were to go offensive line in the first round, which would you like to see them take? — MATTHEW MCGINNIS / ST PAUL, MN

Nick: I'm OK with any of the three O-line positions. Just give me the best one, perhaps the guy we're surprised is still around. Now, if there's a tackle and a center, I'm taking the center because I view that as an immediate need. But at this point, you can't really count on the long-term health for Tyron so if you've got a quality left tackle sitting there, I wouldn't hate the pick either. But something on the O-line. It's the best way to help Dak and Zeke right now.

Rob: I agree about the interior line because with the exception of Zack Martin, that's where the line is less experienced, and Connor Williams is set to be a free agent. This early in the pre-draft process, I'll defer to Bucky Brooks and the Draft Show guys, etc., about who the best prospects might be around the 24th pick. If we're talking general positions of need, though, I'd say interior line first, and a guy who could also kick out to tackle would be a plus, too. Perhaps moving La'el Collins to left guard is something the club considers this offseason.

It seems that through the years whenever Dallas needed a score late in the fourth quarter they would go to their hurry-up offense with much success. Why don't they run more of that early in their games? — VINCENT VINCI / LAURENCE HARBOR, NJ

Nick: I've always been told by coaches or front-office personnel that the reason you don't run that up-tempo all game is to protect the defense. At times you use it, but if it's not effective, it can backfire on your defense who might've gotten a 2-minute test and now goes back out there. It's the same as basketball and why coaches don't press the entire time but choose to pick your spots. That being said, the Cowboys were one of the very best teams in the NFL last gear in scoring at the end of either half. It does seem that Dak is comfortable playing fast and is probably something the Cowboys should use more often than not.

Rob: They did go tempo earlier in games — at times — this season. Remember, the "fastball offense" was a popular storyline the week after they blew out Washington in Week 16. A week later against Arizona, we didn't really see it. I'm not sure why. I agree that by and large, tempo seems to get the offense going a little bit, but it's not something you can do all the time because you also want to win time of possession and protect the defense to a certain extent.

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