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Mailbag: Was Cowboys' draft approach right?


I am confounded with the "expert" analysis of the Cowboys' draft. Many have picked them apart for not taking a running back or top wide receiver. I felt they nailed the draft with a "toughen the team up" approach. After all, most of their playoff failures seem to fall along the lines of not being physical enough. Do you feel the same? – Dallas Smith/Warwick, RI

Nick Harris: You're onto something by seeing that the Cowboys got bigger and more physical coming out of the draft than they were going into it. Yes, a couple of positions were not addressed, but size, physicality and play in the trenches saw a significant uptick. Half of the picks were spent at the line of scrimmage and the other half saw them bring in tough skill players on both sides of the ball. If the Cowboys don't want a repeat of what happened in San Francisco or Buffalo or at home against Green Bay last year, that's a solid start.

Patrik: I agree with you in that they, in my opinion, got down and dirty with their picks in this year's draft, and I love it. It wasn't pretty, because they don't need pretty. What they need is brutality in the trenches, and they'll get it with Tyler Guyton and Cooper Beebe playing alongside Tyler Smith and Zack Martin.; turning one first-round pick into two starting offensive linemen. They also needed to up their run defense on the edge, and Marshawn Kneeland is already elite at stopping the run — a prepackaged solution that reminds them of DeMarcus Lawrence. Linebacker was a top need, right up there with OL, and Marist Liufau will now learn under Eric Kendricks and Mike Zimmer. If they were going to select a RB, it would've been in the fourth round but, guess what? They didn't have a pick in that round, so they simply leaned on the looming return of Ezekiel Elliott and got back to addressing more pressing 2024 needs (!!) with a boundary cornerback, freakishly athletic outside receiver and, oh yeah, a massive nose tackle. I'm not saying it's the perfect draft, but I fail to see what all the ruffled feathers are about — when you consider how they attacked it.

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