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Mailbag: Timing Of Trying To Sign Martin? Predicting The Schedule?

JEFF FREDERICKSONBENNINGTON, NE
*We own Zack Martin's rights with a cheap rookie contract for two more years. We could, if we needed to, franchise him then.  That is three years. Why restructure now?  It's so early. Is there any benefit to the team other than to be nice?  He isn't going to give us some discount for signing now. *

Bryan: Long term it's better that you this done now. The more you wait, there's likelihood that your price will go up even higher. Controlling those numbers will be important. 

David: I think your understanding of contracts is lacking a little bit. Martin has one more cheap year left on his rookie deal. If the Cowboys don't extend him, he'll cost $9 million in 2018. If they franchise him following that season, he'd cost roughly $11 million. So you're paying him $20 million for those final two seasons. Extending him allows you to push down the cap numbers a little bit by back-loading the contract and spreading the charge over five or six years. It's like financing a car over the long-term, rather than paying a ton up front.

GARY DAVISFRESNO, CA
Our schedule is brutal this year. Realistically, I think a 7-9 campaign is entirely possible, while 10-6 would look to be a solid year. What do the Cowboys have to do better this year to get to 11 or 12 wins?

Bryan:What looks likely on paper generally doesn't happen. Injuries play a huge role and we can't predict that. The plan is always the same -- balanced drives finishing with points while the defense needs to prevent the big plays and shut things down in the red zone. 

David:I get the premise of what you're saying, but it really is hard to predict. The Buccaneers looked like an easy win on the schedule last summer, and they wound up going 9-7 and making a playoff push. The Cardinals played in the NFC title game in 2015 and looked like a safe bet to contend again last year, and they finished with a losing record. This year's schedule looks tough, but we won't know exactly how tough until October or November.

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