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Mailbag: Weighing The Value Of Need vs. Talent?


Looking at the mock drafts, they tend to focus on O-Line for the Cowboys, but are mostly all over the place. So it made me think of this question: if at 24 the Cowboys have their choice of C/G, edge rusher, or linebacker, which should they take? – JEFF PARSONS / AMARILLO, TX

David: That goes back to your draft grades. Guard is this offense's biggest need currently, but I happen to think that Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis is a better overall prospect than any of the top guards. Similarly, I think Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is the best interior offensive line prospect in this class – but center isn't as big of a need as guard. All things being equal, I'd aim for the offensive lineman – but only if the grades are close. If a stud pass rusher or defensive back falls to you, you take him.

Rob: This might sound like a cop-out, but it depends on what their board says. If there's a wide gap between the best linebacker and the best center/guard or edge rusher, then they should go linebacker. Teams really do get themselves in trouble reaching for need. But if everything's pretty equal, I'd say center/guard or even offensive tackle. At this moment, I see more questions about the offensive line (and wide receiver) than anywhere else.

Hearing Jerry Jones speak of O-Linemen in the draft, he said: "We'll get one unless a Lamb or Parsons is there." Do tell, just who is your Lamb or Parsons - specifically, receiver or linebacker that the Cowboys could not pass up no matter who is there at 24? – KEITH HUDDLESTON / MOSCOW, TX

David: For me, those guys would be Jameson Williams or Derek Stingley Jr. Williams possesses the terrifying, game-changing speed you see from guys like Tyreek Hill – the type of receiver who makes life easier for every member of your offense. Stingley comes with injury concern, but he's one of the most naturally talented corners to come out in the last few years. If either of those guys was sitting there, I'd draft him without hesitating.

Rob: I'm with Dave on Jameson Williams, a terrific receiver who reportedly will be healthy for the start of training camp. If somehow Jordan Davis was still around at 24, that would be my "blinking light" scenario as far as a defensive player who could make an immediate impact for this team.

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