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Mailbag: What Does LB Look Like With McClain Back?; Adding A Swing Tackle?

PHILIP CAREYSPOKANE, WA
With the news that Rolando McClain has re-signed with the Cowboys, how do you see the linebacker corps shaping up?

Bryan: My best guess at this point would to be McClain playing as the Mike with Sean Lee moving to the Will. The question now will be who plays Sam, and I don't necessarily believe it will be Anthony Hitchens. As good a player as Hitchens, is there are some physical limitations with him there. He doesn't have the length that you would normally see from a linebacker playing that spot. Where I see Hitchens playing as a backup Mike or Will which is a better fit for him. Dekoda Watson or Kyle Wilber are better fits at Sam which means this front office will most likely address that spot in free agency or draft.

David: I honestly don't even worry about the Sam spot that much. From what we've seen of this defense and what we know about today's NFL, the Cowboys can probably expect to operate out of the nickel on a consistent basis. That means the top duo of McClain and Lee will be on the field, regardless – assuming both can stay healthy. My guess behind that would be that Jasper Brinkley will be the primary backup in the middle, with Anthony Hitchens serving as Lee's backup on the weak side. Sam sounds like a training camp competition between several guys – potentially even a draft pick.

JERMAINE COLEFAYETTEVILLE, NC
Who do you see the Cowboys using in the swing tackle role that Jermey Parnell used to handle?

Bryan: There are a couple of different ways that they could go here. The draft would be the best option with maybe a guy like Jake Fisher from Oregon or Ty Sambrailo from Colorado State. They could also look at adding a low dollar guy like Nate Garner -- who I remember from last preseason when the Cowboys played the Dolphins. There will be options there if they want to go that route.

David: It's at least a little bit telling to me that the Cowboys kept Darrion Weems around all of last season, rather than reaching an injury settlement and moving on. The young offensive tackle was on injured reserve before the season even started, but the team signed him to a new contract soon after the season. By no means is that a guarantee that Weems is their guy moving forward, but it's interesting that they like him enough to give him a chance to earn a tackle spot in training camp. Aside from Weems, I'm not going to be surprised at all if the Cowboys draft an offensive tackle – maybe not in the first round, but anywhere after that.

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