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Mailbag: Outlook At FS? Strength Of Schedule?

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Hi, my question is why hasn't this coaching staff brought in a veteran presence at free safety to help the young secondary and who's going to play that position for us this upcoming season? — JOSE QUINTERO / ROCHESTER, NY

David: I've been asking that question for about eight years. In all seriousness, I'm at least a little bit encouraged by the fact that Damontae Kazee is already practicing. I wasn't expecting him to be that far along in his recovery from his Achilles injury, so that's a really pleasant surprise. If he's ready to go, he's easily the favorite to handle that job. And in all honesty, the Cowboys really need him to be ready. I'm not exactly sold on their other options.

Jonny: It's definitely a little perplexing that they are treating a newly-signed player coming off a major injury as a solution to the problem. It feels like something that could cost them in the long run. That said, if healthy, I really like Kazee as a potential solution. He feels like the type of player I would want to come in and produce under Dan Quinn. I'm leaning towards optimism with Kazee, but you can't really validate that optimism is until he's played five games in a Cowboy uniform.

Ok, I think our schedule looks tough, but the chart says it's the second easiest. I realize it's based on the win percentages of our opponents' 2020 records. I'm sure a lot of our rank is from our division. What is your opinion of our strength of schedule? — ALLEN SHARKEY / SKIATOOK, OK

David: I think you're exactly right that a big part of that is because the NFC East is down. Dallas gets to play six games in the division, which is probably the worst in the entire NFL. So that helps. Other than that, I honestly don't care too much about the perceived strength of the schedule. We all got a hard lesson last year about how much can change between May and January. That's the beauty of the NFL.

Jonny: The NFC East will be better this year than it was last year, but I'd still rather play in it than any other division. I don't read into strength of schedule much, especially when you're coming off such a poor season. There are good teams on the Cowboys' schedule, and based on the strength of schedule formula, the Cowboys are one of the reason THOSE TEAMS' schedules are considered easy.

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