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Mailbag: What's Holding Back Jabril Cox?


What is preventing Jabril Cox from getting playing time? I think in his limited role he showed the ability to cover. Is the linebacker core that deep or is he still not 100%? – TERRY FRANCIS / TAKOMA PARK, MD

Patrik: The presence of Anthony Barr – simply put. With the addition of Barr and the improved play of Leighton Vander Esch, cracking the three-man rotation that includes Micah Parsons is obviously very difficult. Barr is also beginning to hit his stride in Dan Quinn's defense and that means Cox would have to increase his value on special teams to continually carve his way onto the gameday roster(s) but there he runs up against a key special teams guy in Luke Gifford. The bottom line is the Cowboys have a great depth problem at LB, and more so when/if Damone Clark is activated.

Nick: Right now, Cox just isn't ready to contribute in a consistent way. He's got on the field some, mainly on special teams. But when the Cowboys added Anthony Barr, it likely pushed everyone down a slot in the linebacker room. Cox is built more like a safety than a defensive end such as Barr. And when you consider the Cowboys are using Jayron Kearse and Donovan Wilson down in the box at times, there isn't a lot of room for Cox to play in sub-packages. Flip over to special teams, and Luke Gifford is one of the core players there at linebacker. Now, factor in Damone Clark to the mix and it might be even tougher for Cox to find some snaps this year.

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