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Mailbag: Realistic Draft Class Expectations?

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Assuming the Cowboys have about the same quality draft this year as they have had in recent years and pick up some good defensive players, what do you think they need to do in free agency to get the defense into at least a middle-of-the-road quality squad? I know there's a lot of factors involved, but we should be able to get some kind of an idea. — CHRISTOPHER KEATING / MASON, TX

David: Recent draft history leads me to believe that the Cowboys can find one or two starter-caliber defenders in this draft. Trevon Diggs, Leighton Vander Esch, Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Hitchens are my most recent examples of this. So let's assume they can find one or two starter-caliber guys in the draft. In my mind, that means they need to sign two or three solid free agents in free agency. For starters, they probably need to address either cornerback or safety to make sure they aren't reaching in the draft.

Rob: I agree with Dave here. First and foremost, they have to figure out the secondary situation before the draft. Doesn't mean they have to be set back there, but they have to be in an OK spot numbers-wise at corner and safety so they're not in a bind on draft weekend. Right now Xavier Woods, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are set to be free agents. You could say the same thing about linebacker because Sean Lee and Joe Thomas also have expiring deals. And finding some help in the interior defensive line, whether it's free agency and/or the draft, will be important too.

Why don't the cowboys trade Dak Prescott for Deshaun Watson? Watson already has a big deal in place, Dak wants a big deal. Watson throws lasers effortlessly and runs effortlessly. It would make sense for both clubs. Watson doesn't like the Texans, and would probably love Jerry Jones, as I don't know any owner who loves his QBs more than Mr. Jones. Just ask Troy, Drew, Bernie and Tony. — MARK KLEIN / SURREY, ND

David: Can you please elaborate on what specifically makes you think Deshaun Watson is a better quarterback than Dak Prescott? Because to this point in their respective careers, I think they're about equal in terms of accomplishments. With that in mind, why would the Cowboys trade bunch of assets to acquire Watson -- only to have to pay his contract. It sounds way easier to just pay Dak.

Rob: Dak's the quarterback here. Period. Can't say I'm 100% sure a deal gets done this offseason — they've tried on and off for the last year and a half to no avail — but all indications are that both sides will work toward it. Worst case, it's the tag again, which would probably be more challenging cap-wise than a new deal.

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