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Mailbag: Sign Another Backup QB?


With Blake Bortles' recent release from Green Bay, why not bring him in and see what he's got? Could be an inexpensive signing for a veteran guy with plenty of experience. — GORDON BARNIKEL / NEW PORT RICHEY, FL

David: I've been in favor of that idea since before the Packers signed him. We all know that his career has been disappointing, but he does have 73 starts and 103 touchdowns to his name. I don't see the harm in bringing him in to at least bolster the competition. The Cowboys considered a couple other veterans over the summer, so I doubt we'll have to wait long to see if there's any interest.

Rob: I don't know if Bortles is a better player than Garrett Gilbert. I do know the Cowboys have and will probably continue to keep their eyes open for competition at that backup spot, depending on what their cap space will allow for. And that would be wise. Dak's shoulder strain is another reminder that the backup is one play away, even though this injury isn't considered a long-term thing.

Dan Quinn said he plans on the base defense looking more like a 3-4, but he acknowledged that teams spend most of their time in nickel and dime packages now. So does he plan on a 3-4 base? 3-3-5? Something else? — MITCH GRAHAM / ALBUQUERQUE, NM

David: Quinn said all the way back in the spring that the base look will resemble a 3-4, but the nickel and dime packages will include a lot of four-man fronts. To this point, that's what we've been seeing. It's fun to watch, but it's honestly kind of hard to keep track of. It seems like most of the defensive linemen are getting asked to play in several different techniques to accommodate those different fronts. What the end result actually looks like still feels like a mystery, but there's no doubt they have a lot of versatile players.

Rob: Which is why some want to call this a 3-4 defense and I'm hesitant to because you're usually in nickel at least two-thirds of the snaps. It's also more about the techniques guys are playing on a given down. Pretty safe to say it's going to be a "multiple" defense, like most teams have. But I'm not sure we'll have a full grasp of the scheme until the regular season starts.

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