MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS
Assuming the Cowboys don't sign another one-technique tackle, can Terrell McClain push Nick Hayden for a starting job?
Nick: I can see that being a healthy training camp battle. Checking out a few plays from McClain last year, he seemed rather strong to clog up the middle. They'll both play so it wouldn't be a major issue which one starts. But as of right now, not seeing much of McClain, I can guess they're similar in talent.
David: In an ideal world, I think Rod Marinelli probably wants a reliable rotation of guys that can handle their own – so much so that it doesn't necessarily matter who the starter is. I think Hayden probably has the edge at this point, but it would be premature to hand anyone a starting job. If you think about it, there isn't a single defensive lineman currently on this roster who has done enough to feel entitled to a starting spot. That should create some fun competition in camp.
SAN ANTONIO, TX
Jeremy Mincey was waived by the Jaguars last December, and yet, he might have to start for us. If he can't make it with the lowly Jags, what does this mean for his chances to be successful in Dallas?
Rowan:By that theory, George Selvie also couldn't make it "with the lowly Jags" and then came to Dallas and had a [embedded_ad] career-high seven sacks. Selvie played in Jacksonville for two seasons prior to coming to the Cowboys. Now, assuming all players can make a Selvie-like jump is thinking too optimistically. But the Cowboys believe they have the coaching to turn talented players who haven't reached their upside into solid contributors and, in Selvie's case, quality starters. It's not fair to compare players just from their background, but if Mincey can replicate his eight-sack 2011 season, the Cowboys would be fine with that.
David: Rowan's response is the obvious one, considering we saw some pretty solid production out of several guys no one had heard of last year. That said, the law of averages says that the Cowboys probably aren't going to find multiple seven-sack players in the dregs of free agency – think back to the likes of David Carter and Caesar Rayford, who made nowhere near the impact Selvie did. Even still, it's reasonable to assume Mincey can come in and be a contributor in the defensive line rotation. But if the Cowboys don't address the issue more directly by either signing more free agents or drafting defensive linemen, I think they'll be in trouble.