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Mailbag: Time To Look For Outside Help At DB?


How much longer will the Cowboys' management turn a blind eye to the lack of quality play at the safety position? It's been evident since Week 1 against the Rams that our biggest weakness is our secondary. How much of a gamble would it be to bring in Earl Thomas on a team-friendly deal? — RAMON HODGE / SURPRISE, AZ

Rob: The question that just won't end. I didn't think safety play was a major liability in the first two games, to be honest with you. Overall, the injuries at cornerback have been more of a problem. Sunday, yes, there were obviously issues with communication across the secondary. Corrections have to be made, but I don't know if it'll lead to major lineup changes, at least not right now. I really do understand the questions about Thomas because of the career he's had, but they just haven't gone in that direction. Maybe Brandon Carr will factor in more as part of a rotation the more time he gets on the field. Daryl Worley had snaps there last week too, but Chidobe Awuzie's injury forced the move back to corner.

David: I don't have a rebuttal for you. Week 1 wasn't overly discouraging, but the communication breakdowns in the secondary these past two weeks have been absolutely brutal. I know they're dealing with a lot of injuries, but it's fair to wonder if the Cowboys need to look outside their roster. If they're absolutely determined not to call Earl Thomas, I'd at least suggest they make a call to Tony Jefferson or Eric Reid. Both of those guys are available, and I have to believe they'd be a step up from what we've been seeing.

I was just curious, with all the injuries to cornerback, why are the Cowboys elevating practice squad players and not using Reggie Robinson? I assume he was playing safety more as filling in depth, but it seems like maybe the coaching staff feels that's his better position? — JARED COFFMAN / BEDFORD, VA

Rob: Robinson has been listed as a safety on the inactive list. He was getting work at safety as camp went on, and you're right, I think it was partly due to the numbers they had at corner. But the coaching staff and front office did think safety was a possible fit for him when he got drafted. I'm a little surprised he hasn't been active yet because he has potential to be a difference maker on special teams. Maybe that'll change as the season goes on.

David: I think we're seeing the difference between "we like his potential" and "he's ready to contribute right now." Robinson was a fourth-round pick, and defensive back is one of the most unforgiving positions in the game. The current secondary features a lot of seasoned veterans like Xavier Woods, Darian Thompson, Jourdan Lewis and Daryl Worley, and we're still seeing some bad breakdowns. I'm just not convinced Robinson would make the situation any better.


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