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Mailbag: Tyron Smith's Health? Jeff Heath's Development As A Starter?

H. MELVIN

HOBOKEN, NJ

I think Jeff Heath is an underrated player on this team, and I was glad to see him get the chance to start last season. What grade would you give him for last season? Do you have him penciled in as a starter this upcoming season?

Rob: I do think he's a starter next year. I qualify this next statement by saying the Cowboys collectively must force a lot more turnovers moving forward – but Heath has been one of their biggest playmakers the last three years. Thought he adjusted to a heavier workload last season and got more effective as the year went on. He's usually around the ball and usually good things happen.

Bryan: I like what you've said about Heath. I have always been a big fan of his even when fans thought that he was the worst player they had ever seen. At this point, I do have him starting with Xavier Woods and that could change depending on what happens during the draft or potential future trade. 


GREG PAYNE

KILLEEN, TX

I haven't heard much about Tyron Smith and his injury situation in this offseason. Since he plays such a critical position on the offensive line and his play, when healthy, is Pro Bowl caliber, what's his status? Has his injury situation gotten better or will it be a problem again this year?

Rob: Jerry Jones told us last week that Smith's injury issues last year shouldn't affect him in 2018. "Nothing indicates that what last year is, is what this year is going to be," he said. Of course, that hasn't stopped the Cowboys from trying to upgrade their depth behind Smith. The back has bothered him at times in recent years, and he missed the better part of four games last year due to knee and groin injuries.

Bryan: I was told from a reliable source that Smith was in California working on his back. He was making such progress that surgery was no longer an option and it was the best he'd felt in years. Hopefully this season he can play pain free. 

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