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Mailbag: The Impact Of Beasley’s FA Departure?

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How big of a loss is the Cole Beasley departure? Who on the current roster can match his production? And so you see them going out and getting a slot receiver in free agency or the draft? - JAMES JORDAN / CONVERSE, TX

Rob: There’s no one on the roster right now with Beasley’s specific skill set, particularly his short-area quickness. Amari Cooper moved into the slot some last season and that’s likely to continue, regardless of who replaces Beasley. Re-signing Tavon Austin is a possibility, but this could end up being a draft target. Losing Beasley hurts, but I do think Jason Witten’s return offsets things a little because he has been a safety blanket for Dak Prescott, too.

Bryan: It will not be easy to replace Beasley's production but they do have options. Cooper, Allen Hurns and Lance Lenoir can all play in the slot. Drafting is an option with plenty of available players. Witten also coming back helps you underneath and in red zone, plus the development of Blake Jarwin.

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Which positions do you think offer the best value in the free agent market, especially in the last few years? It seems to me that interior O-Linemen, tight ends, and run-stuffing defensive tackles are a virtual dime a dozen come next week. Starters can be secured for one- or two-year deals with little guaranteed money. How do you see FA value from year to year? - CHRIS BARKEMA / STORY CITY, IA

Rob: Running back bargains usually can be found, too. Remember, in 2016 the Cowboys signed Alfred Morris to a modest two-year deal two weeks into free agency. The Cowboys must address the backup spots again this year, but the draft is also a possibility in the middle to late rounds.

Bryan: You’re exactly right. This is where the pro department earns its money. There are quality players to be had on one-year deals, much like the Rams did with Suh last season. Next week’s market is how the good teams become better. I see the Cowboys in the middle of this.

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