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Mailbag: Overreacting To QB Need? Drafting Interior Defensive Linemen?

DAVE NYSTROMCASTAIC, CA
There is no dispute that Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden played below expectations, but if our defense had just forced a reasonable amount of turnovers, I have to believe they would have won many more games? I'm fearful we are overreacting to the need for QB when the bigger problem is we simply don't have playmakers on defense?

Bryan:I don't disagree about the turnovers but this defense played well enough to win more than four games. All they needed was a little help and they did not get it from the offense. The quarterback play was not good enough and Jerry Jones even admitted that. I don't think anyone is overreacting to that position but if you are a big picture thinker – you had better have a better answer at quarterback or you are going to go through what we did in the early 2000's trying to win games and I don't see the owner going through that again.

David: Can't both of these things be true? The Cowboys undoubtedly need some playmakers on defense. Their talent level is lacking at three or four critical positions – the lack of takeaways in the secondary is particularly troubling. Despite that, they don't have an adequate quarterback behind Romo, who is turning 36 in April. Both of these issues are things that need to be addressed. It's not either/or.

MARK PALUMBOSEABROOK, TX
Jason Garrett has said time after time the game is won in the trenches. Finally, the Cowboys started drafting offensive linemen (tackle, guard, center) with first-round picks. The results are one of the best offensive lines in football. I know they invest on edge rushers, but why not apply the same logic to the interior defensive line as well? Working pretty well in Carolina.

Bryan:I think you will see them draft a one technique in this draft and the reason I say this is because there are finally a group of players there to be selected. It is one thing to want to help the position but like Carolina did the numbers were there to support the reason for making it happen.

David: Well, you mentioned the edge rushers. They just committed $45 million to Tyrone Crawford, who is a home-grown talent, and they've spent lofty draft picks on DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. We've heard before that they don't value the one-technique defensive tackle position all that much, but I wouldn't be opposed to spending a second or third-round draft pick to try to bolster that interior. I also expect them to sign a defensive lineman of some sort in free agency – though that's just a guess.

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