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Mailbag: Should The Offseason Focus Still Be On O-Linemen?

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WILLIAM O'CONNELL
UNCASVILLE, CT
So with the glaring issues on the O-line, why are the Cowboys looking at defensive players and safeties? The O-line needs to be addressed more so than the defense. Please help me understand.

Nick: Because they have glaring needs at defensive players and safeties. You might think the O-line is the biggest need, but it's not as simple as that. There are holes in a lot of places. If you get to No. 18 in the draft and the best linemen are gone, you better have a plan. Personally, I think this team could use someone big. If it's a big tackle or big guard, take him. If he's a big defensive tackle or end, take him. They need size, no matter what side of the ball it's on.  

Rowan: They might argue they had already had this need, but the team created another need with the release of Gerald Sensabaugh. Now, if no moves are made in free agency, you head into the season with two injured, largely unproven safeties manning those positions if someone's not selected in the draft. They also may not know what their defensive tackle situation, particularly with the one-technique, will be and how some of the 3-4 linemen will adjust to the switch. I'm with you that O-line still needs to be the priority, but there are other needs, as well.

DAVE LAKE
RALEIGH, NC
Why wasn't an attempt made to trade Mike Jenkins last year? He is a good CB but needs a new start and Dallas probably could have gotten a third for him. Now they get little to nothing.

Nick:I think the Cowboys listened to offers, but just didn't find one they liked. Remember, there was a feeling last year the Cowboys had a chance to compete for a playoff spot. This team has been banged up at cornerback in the past and it would've been pretty naïve to assume everyone would stay healthy there. And don't forget, he wasn't healthy until after the start of the season. It's hard to think a team would've parted with a third-round pick for a guy not 100 percent and whose contract expires after the season. If he plays well, you can probably get that same pick in a compensatory [embedded_ad] version next year.

Rowan: I don't know how many teams would have wanted an injured cornerback who missed the offseason and preseason.  As it turned out last season, holding onto him wasn't such a bad idea. The Cowboys needed another corner with Orlando Scandrick out at the end of the season and Morris Claiborne entering the year banged up. I'm sure in an ideal scenario they'd like an extra third round pick this year, but I'm not sure they could've gotten a deal like that. Consider, too, that any team he would have gone too would have only rented him out for the rest of the season and would need to hope they could sign him to a longer deal.

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