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Mailbag: TE Depth; Connor Williams’ Progress

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With Geoff Swaim out for at least a couple of weeks I see the Cowboys putting Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin in there and letting them sink or swim. Let's get the best information we can about what we've got before we go drafting or signing replacements. Let's be honest, the playoffs at this stage would be a bonus. Your thoughts? - STUART ANDERSON / UNITED KINGDOM

Rob: As of late last week, it sounded like the team hadn’t ruled out the possibility of Swaim playing against Tennessee. We’ll see. Trading for Amari Cooper means the team is all about winning now, not simply evaluating young players. But if Swaim misses time they’ll need them to step up, especially blocking at the point of attack. Swaim is by far the best in that area.

Bryan: I don’t know how the playoffs are going to play out, but I do agree with you about getting Schultz work. Wrote about this during my Final Thoughts piece before the Washington game. Was hearing some good things about him before then, so putting him in the mix was a possibility. I liked him in college and nothing for me has changed there.

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How is Connor Williams progressing at left guard? We've seen him have his share of struggles through the first quarter of the season. What would you say his strengths and weaknesses are so far? - BRANDON WILCOX / EVERLY, IA

Rob: The Cowboys are confident Williams will add strength as his body matures, much like Tyron Smith did a couple years of out college. But strength has been the primary issue for him, particularly when he faces a power rusher like Carolina’s Kawann Short. Williams battles, though, and he shows his athleticism when the Cowboys get their linemen on the move blocking in space.

Bryan: Williams is mobile and competitive. He lacks core strength and that is something we’ve said since he got the job in training camp. When he bends his knees, he’s good. When he doesn’t, he’s going to have issues. Been more good than bad with him.

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