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Mailbag: Rather Acquire Veteran Safety Or Sign D-Law? Adding Another Back?

David Wilde

Lethbridge, Alberta

I am no expert on the intricacies of our salary cap situation, but if the Cowboys had to choose between resigning Demarcus Lawrence to a long-term deal, or acquiring a player like Earl Thomas, which do you think would be more beneficial to the Cowboys' defense?

Bryan:This is a really good question but I'd lean toward signing Lawrence long term. As helpful as the safety would be, having a pass rusher means a lot to your defense. I have always believed that you build your team with a quarterback, then pass rusher and then left tackle. 

Nick:Call me greedy, but I say both. I think it only happens if you indeed sign Lawrence to a long-term deal now and can lower his cap hit this year. If he plays for the tag, that's $17 million right there. Obviously, Thomas is still under contract with another team but with one year remaining on his deal, and with his apparent interest in playing for the Cowboys as he showed after their game, it's not out of the question that a trade could occur. If I had to pick, I would take a Pro Bowl safety because the Cowboys haven't had a consistent great player at that position since Darren Woodson.

Jason Lee

Annandale, Virginia

Barring injuries or off the field issues, Zeke should be playing for a long time; however, I'm intrigued by what Alvin Kamara was able to do with Mark Ingram for the Saints this year. Do you see any guys like Kamara or Kareem Hunt that may go in the mid rounds but potentially make an immediate impact next season?

Bryan:  Of the guys I've seen so far, the ones that make the most sense are Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Rashaad Penny for that role. I do like Darrel Williams as well. The one thing this draft will provide is a deep group of running backs. I believe you can get help on every level no matter where you're selecting. 

Nick: I think that's a really great idea for the Cowboys for a couple of reasons. If used correctly, two backs can be effective as we saw with the Saints. But this team definitely needs some speed and playmakers wherever they can find them. They've obviously tried to get that with a guy like Lance Dunbar but he wasn't ever healthy enough and really was one-dimensional. A guy that could fit into this role is someone like North Carolina State's Nyheim Hines, who is a speedy back, who ran track, but has a physical frame (5-9, 199) and can catch the ball out of the backfield.

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