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Mailbag: Should Dallas Re-Sign Tyrone Crawford Now? Life Without Dez?

MICHAEL MOORESAN ANTONIO, TX
Keep hearing how the team is high on Tyrone Crawford and he's been chosen by some outlets as a breakout player.  Do you think the team should try to re-sign him now for a possibly cheaper deal, or just let him play his current contract out and see what happens?

Bryan: I could see them try and do a similar deal to what we saw with Barry Church and get in there early, but I am sure that Crawford will want to play this out and see where it takes him. By the way, I am one of those people that thinks that Crawford will have that breakout season.

Rob:Priority No. 1 right now has to be Dez – at least until the July 15 deadline to get something done with him this year. Extending Crawford before he becomes a free agent next year is an interesting idea, though. The Cowboys did it with Jay Ratliff in 2007 before he became a Pro Bowl defensive lineman, and it turned out to be a team-friendly deal. Yes, the team does feel Crawford can be a Pro Bowl player, too.

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JERRY EMRYMENA, ARKANSAS
How good are the Cowboys without Dez Bryant?  Defensive coordinators do have to scheme for him, and Bryant's presence opens up other facets of the game, like the passing game with Williams, Beasley, Witten, not to mention the run game.  I think they are a mediocre 8-8 without Dez. Your thoughts?

Bryan: I understand your line of questioning and the points that you have made, but this team is mediocre or worse without Tony Romo -- and that is not a shot at Dez Bryant. This team could survive with the weapons that you mentioned, but as we saw in the Arizona game last season,  playing without its quarterback doesn't help any facets of their game.

Rob:I think the football explanation you gave is spot on, and Bryant's leadership intangibles are also extremely valuable to Jason Garrett and the approach he wants the team to take. But that's why the Cowboys franchised him at $12.8 million – they don't want to lose him. If for some reason they don't get a deal done in the next few days, Bryant gets a fully-guaranteed one-year deal and they resume negotiations after the season.

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