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Mailbag: Tougher To Sign Third-Round Picks? Change In Team Philosophy?

BRIAN SAMBIRSKY
SPRING

Why are 3rd-round picks harder to sign in this environment where contract value is practically agreed at the time of the pick? 

Bryan:There is more to negotiate. How much they get in Years 2, 3 and 4 are not set. They know the minimum they can get and the maximum they can get but have to negotiate where in there they fall. First- and second-rounders are maxed out and fourth- through seventh-rounders get minimums.

Rob: Bryan's right. It's an interesting wrinkle in the current CBA and it has extended the negotiating process for other teams in recent years, too. But I don't think there should be concern about getting Michael Gallup signed. The Cowboys' last two third-round picks, Jourdan Lewis and Maliek Collins, signed before training camp. 

MARCO ASPAAS
VANCOUVER

We've heard Garrett talk about "building a program" and we've heard the Joneses talk about this being a young man's game. In light of the personnel changes (DBs and WRs) made the last couple of years and the emphasis on drafting 'players', it appears to me, outside of the players that excel at their position and 'earn' an extension, that there is a definite change in roster structure to more player development (which I like btw) as they have one of the youngest rosters in the league. Do you see this cycle continuing in the future?

Bryan: I sure do. I believe this is the way that Stephen Jones and Will McClay want to operate. Drafting and extending their own is really important to them. This is not to say they won't ever sign a free agent but I think it's less likely now.

Rob: This has been their philosophy for years, even though the organization is always rumored to be linked to top free agents (mostly to generate website clicks). Stephen Jones has talked about a younger roster having more durability and being more likely to get through the grind of a 16-game season. I do think it's important to have a nice blend of veteran leadership, which Jason Witten brought for so many years. They'll have to replace that in the locker room.

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