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Mailbag: Other Teams' Interest In Dunbar? Ryan Russell's Development?

With our RB depth thin, is the front office not interested in Dunbar? Or are they letting him test the market to see what his worth is? He has now visited two teams and is scheduled a third. Is his price too high right now or is the injury history making him too much of a risk?

David:From everything we've heard, it sounds like Dunbar has a long way to go to get himself back into playing condition. With that in mind, I don't think the Cowboys are in a rush to settle on a contract. I don't think there's any great harm in having him take some visits, as I'm sure other NFL teams are going to come to the same conclusion. Hopefully they can come to a deal after he's gauged his prospects a bit better.

Rob: I think they value Dunbar and his skill set when healthy. I would imagine it's difficult to figure out a contract number given his injury situation right now. The Cowboys have said they need to pair a running back with Darren McFadden through free agency or the draft. But the question is how much can he be ready to contribute in 2016 coming off the knee injury. In the meantime, he has the right to go out and see what his value might be.


After the first week of free agency, there's still skepticism surrounding the Cowboys' pass rush (or lack thereof). Is there any optimism that Ryan Russell can be a bigger contributor to the D-line in his second year?

David:I can't speak for the coaching staff, but I don't know that Ryan Russel's development is enough of a guarantee to prevent them from addressing the position. DeMarcus Lawrence is the only defensive end on the roster right now with a career sack, and that is terrifying. At the very least, I think they need to bring back Jack Crawford, and then they'll likely have to turn toward the draft.

Rob: Hard to evaluate Russell because he only played 33 snaps the entire season and ended up on injured reserve. The hope is always a pass rusher can make a leap in Year 2. Same with Randy Gregory when he returns from his four-game suspension. DeMarcus Lawrence was a better player in Year 2 – it usually seems to take a season for defensive ends to get accustomed to NFL blocking. Russell has skills but the expectation should be fitting into Rod Marinelli's rotation for a few snaps a game.

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