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Mailbag: Update On Hardy's Appeal?; What Does Marinelli Mean To The D?

ANDREW GOODCHILDEGLIN AFB, FL

Has there been any headway with Hardy's 10-game suspension appeal? Are we expecting a conclusion anytime soon?

David: If we knew, you would know. The NFL tends to operate on its own timeline in matters like this, as you might have noticed. I'm fairly confident we'll hear something definitive by the time the team reports to training camp, but anything more specific than that is guesswork.

Rob: Hardy's appeal reportedly will be heard May 28 and then he'll wait for a ruling. Anything beyond that, as Dave said, is conjecture. The Cowboys respected the league's decision, and by drafting Randy Gregory and Ryan Russell, they've added more pass rushers in the event that Hardy's 10-game suspension is upheld. They need as many rushers as they can get, anyway.

DONNIE LEGERSULPHUR, LA

A majority of the questions lately revolve around the running back. I believe DMC will be better than most give him credit and the others will complement him well. My concern is the future of the Cowboys' defense. I know Rod Marinelli has recently signed an extension but do you think he would take a head coaching job after this season? Most of the players are "Marinelli Guys" and fit his scheme. If he left wouldn't it set the defense back?

David: I'm not sure I see it, and for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, he's about to turn 66 and I'm not convinced he wants the added stress of being the head guy. On top of that, his last head coaching tenure ended in the league's only 0-16 season – which I'm not sure is an easy stigma to shake off. But if Marinelli were to accept a head coaching position, you could potentially replace him in-house in order to keep the scheme intact. Personally, I'd be more concerned about Scott Linehan departing than Rod Marinelli.

Rob: Age aside, Marinelli is so well respected around the league that if the defense improves again, I could see a team interested in hiring him to help establish a new culture the way Bill Parcells did here in 2003. I think it's more likely he stays in Dallas, but if an opportunity did come up next year based on your hypothetical, it would be a blow to the defense. His scheme has let guys play fast and loose.

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