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Mailbag: Roster Expansion? Pass Rush Helping DBs?


With the NFL adding one more game to the schedule, do you think it is time we expand the roster to 55 or 56 players? During a normal season injuries add up quickly, and now with another game, it has to increase. — DAVID WILKIE / INMAN, SC

Rob: Well, the NFL did (sort of) expand the rosters in 2020 by increasing the size of the practice squad and allowing teams to promote two practice squad players per game week. Right now that rule still appears to be in place for 2021, unless the league announces otherwise. But yeah, with an extra regular-season game now officially in place, you wonder if the league will eventually look at a permanent increase past 53.

David: I think it's been time to do that for quite some time now. The season is so long, and the sport is so violent. Hopefully the league adopts some of its roster rules from the COVID season moving forward, because it really seemed to help teams deal with the natural attrition of the season a bit better.

Do you think the Cowboys' pass rush will be good enough to help out the young DBs this season? Why or why not? — MIKE GALVAN / BLESSING, TX

Rob: Here's a question of my own: Can the Cowboys offense build more leads than they had last year? That would go a long way toward helping the defense rush in clear passing situations where opponents are one-dimensional. From a personnel standpoint, Randy Gregory could have a very productive year after his first full offseason in years. We don't yet know the Cowboys' exact plans for Micah Parsons, but you've got to think they'll try to maximize his pass-rushing skills, and that should only help their push up front.

David: That's a pretty open-ended question. I think the pair of DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory is pretty damn strong and should be able to help the secondary. If they're both healthy and available, that's a duo that has the potential to combine for 15-20 sacks. The problem is that I'm not sure there's a lot of firepower elsewhere. I think I'd be surprised if this pass rush, as a whole, finishes in the top half of the league in sacks.

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