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Mailbag: Randle Getting Benefit of Doubt? Jones vs. Claiborne for 3rd CB?

Marcus JonesMemphis, TN

With Joseph Randle's measurable (only seven pounds lighter than Murray), his college production and the flashes he showed us last year with limited reps, why don't people think he can be a capable starter in this system?

Nick: I don't think all "people" think that way. The guys in charge her seem to think he can, and that's why when practice starts Thursday you'll see him running with the first-team. Your question about his overall perception from fans is valid. It comes down to trust. And let's be honest, before Murray ripped off 1,800 yards last year, he had his share of doubters, too. It's one of those cases that, "people don't think you can do it … until you do it." Randle will get the chance to show everyone what he can do in the next few weeks. 

Rob:There's probably a couple reasons Randle has doubters, at least outside the organization. Following a couple of off-the-field matters, even he admitted in OTAs that he has to prove to the team he can be reliable player. You mentioned the second reason: Randle just hasn't played much. He averaged three carries a game last year. How does he handle 18-20 touches a game? Can he stay consistent, durable, and be a complete back who can block and catch? Just because he hasn't done it doesn't mean he can't. If he wins the job, the Cowboys will have to do a bit of projecting.

Robert FrankeleHampton, VA

If Morris Claiborne is healthy to start camp, do you think Byron Jones beats him out for the third corner spot or will his battle be with JJ Wilcox?

Nick: Two good questions here. Not to avoid them, but this is seriously why we come to camp – to figure out such things. Personally, I think Byron Jones will end up playing safety, but maybe not right away. Claiborne's health should be his only concern. Competing with anyone is the last thing he needs to worry about. I consider Mo as a straight-up bonus. If he's good enough to play and contribute, great. If not, that's sort of what the Cowboys are used to. Jones will likely be that nickel corner, regardless if his true position is corner or safety.

Rob:I think you have to look at it like this: Can Byron Jones show he's one of the five best defensive backs on the roster? If he is, it's quite possible the Cowboys will find a place for him at cornerback or safety. In the offseason he showed he could handle learning two positions.

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