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Mailbag: What Role Does Rivers Fill?; Why Didn't Dez Visit Duke?

KEN JACOBSDENVER, CO
Do the Cowboys see Keith Rivers as a player who can excel in Rod Marinelli's defensive scheme if healthy, or as insurance if some of the linebackers do not re-sign? Your thoughts?

Bryan: I have quite honestly not seen the player, but my plan is to sit down and give him a look. These Pro Scouts have done a nice job of bringing guys in that fit their scheme with their ability, and the coaches have done an even better job of coaching them. This addition has a chance to work from what we have seen in the past. He is a veteran player much like Justin Durant was several seasons ago from the Lions and turned into a nice off the street signing.  

David: I think the correct answer is probably a little bit of both. Rivers was a top-10 pick in 2008, and he has had some productive seasons in his seven years in the league. I think the Cowboys trust that Marinelli and Matt Eberflus can coax him into producing – much like they did with Rolando McClain. That said, I think it'd be a mistake to assume Rivers is guaranteed any kind of starting spot. This team needs options if it can't hold on to its own free agents. Worst-case scenario, Rivers adds some depth and competition to the unit; best-case scenario, the Cowboys have just found another diamond in the rough.

GARET TANAKAWAILUKU, HI
Just read that Garrett, Romo, Witten and Murray visited Duke's basketball practice. I noticed that Dez wasn't there, nor was he there at the game last year with Garrett and Romo. Does this say anything about their chemistry, or lack thereof? Or am I making a big deal out of nothing?

Bryan: You are making too much of a big deal out of this. There is plenty of chemistry between Romo and Bryant – just look at the number of opportunities he throws him the ball.

David: You're making a big deal out of nothing. Dez just caught 16 touchdown passes, with 15 of them coming from Romo. What further proof of their chemistry do you need? Dez is on one side of a massive contract negotiation, and it makes sense why he'd probably want to steer clear of the limelight while he tries to secure a long-term deal. 

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