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Mailbag: What Is The Realistic Expectation For New Guard?



I understand Brian Waters is a six-time Pro Bowler and all, but should we really expect him to actually be any good after not playing since 2011? What is a true expectation?

Nick:That depends on what your definition of good is. If you're looking at a guy who has been to six Pro Bowls, maybe you'll expect more. If you compare him to the guys that have started the past two years, he might be great. He'll be an upgrade and that's really the important thing. Plus, his veteran leadership lining up next to Frederick every snap will help the rookie.  

David: Jason Garrett said himself that this is different from Waters' stint in New England, since he hasn't played in a year and a half. It's probably going to take some time, but I wouldn't be surprised if Waters is a competent and sturdy starter after maybe two weeks learning this system. I don't know if he goes back to the Pro Bowl, but he'll be an upgrade over what the Cowboys had before.


I understand that maybe Sean Lissemore wasn't picking up the 4-3 scheme as quickly as the others on the defensive line, but didn't the Cowboys need him for depth at defensive tackle?

Nick: A couple of things to note. First, they are playing Ben Bass at defensive tackle. Secondly, Landon Cohen was better than Sean Lissemore in camp. So they are your two backups right there. Factor in Jay Ratliff in Week 7 and that's not bad depth. Personally, I liked Lissemore, too. But if you think about his career, he's been hurt at least four times.

Rowan: Depth is nice, but the move to the 4-3 might have been harder on Lissemore than any player on this defense. I'm surprised they got rid of Lissemore and didn't bring in another defensive tackle, but there's not much point in keeping him around for depth purposes if they believed he couldn't contribute at the level they'd like. He also had a concussion in his last game and has had injury problems.

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