Having signed good and experienced players in T.Y. Hilton, Takk McKinley, Mackenzie Alexander, Trayvon Mullen and Anthony Rush, why have they not been given any opportunities yet? Are they just not ready for the scheme or are there any other reasons? – Krai Chatamra/Libertyville, IL
Nick: Yes. There's a little bit to all of that. But I will challenge your first sentence a little bit. Do we know these guys are "good" players? Yes, these guys either have been good at one point in their careers or drafted rather high. But just because they had that status before, surely doesn't put them in that category now. They were available for a reason and it's up to the Cowboys and coaching staff to put them in the position to reach that potential again. But I would say this – if these guys were ready to play and contribute in a way that helps them, I bet they would. Jason Peters is a future Hall of Famer and it took him some time to get adjusted and in the right shape. Everyone has their own issues in getting ready to play. But in the case of Mullen, Hilton, Alexander and Rush, these are positions of need and so the coaching staff is probably trying to get them up to speed as quickly as possible.
Mickey: First remember, of all the Cowboys mentioned, only Mullen has played a significant amount of snaps so far this season with just three games left. So, there is ramp up time needed, acclimation practice time and gaining trust. Of all those guys, Hilton looks like he's ready to go, either Saturday or next Thursday for a handful of snaps. Alexander would fill a need, having played in the slot and Hilton brings some needed speed. Signing guys like they have mid-season usually is more for depth and insurance against injury.