DAN HARRISONPHILADELPHIA, PA
What's the deal with Tyler Patmon? With all of the talk about Brandon Carr's contract and the need to draft a cornerback, I haven't heard or read much about Patmon. Do the Cowboys think his performance in the preseason and his INT against Arizona was merely a flash in the pan or do the Cowboys value him as a potential starter going forward?
Bryan: There is no question that the coaching staff and front office like Tyler Patmon. They trust that he will always be ready to play and he will be on point with his assignments. When they played him, the stage never appeared to be too big for him. It will be a big offseason for him in regard to the weight room because he doesn't always play with a great deal of strength. For him to be more than just a nickel or dime player, he is going to need for that area to improve if he is going to have any chance to develop into a starter.
David: We've heard Patmon's name thrown around a lot as a guy who impressed as a rookie. Despite that, I think it'd be a mistake to enter the 2015 season counting on him to be one of your top two or three cornerbacks. I'd want as much top-level talent and competition as possible, and if Patmon can beat it out, that's fantastic. A foursome of Carr, Scandrick, a draft pick and Patmon sounds like a solid starting point to me.
CHRIS ARNOLDWAKEFIELD, MA
Not much has been mentioned regarding the backup quarterback situation. I know Brandon Weeden has a year left on his deal, but he seemed in over his head when called upon. Do you think there are better options in free agency or will they roll the dice again this season?
Bryan: You will see Dustin Vaughan get plenty of work this offseason in the OTAs, minicamps and training camp. My gut tells me that Weeden will return, but if Vaughan shows enough and they happen to draft a quarterback – you might see a change with who is on the roster.
David: I'm guessing Weeden is going to play out his contract, simply because the coaches value his knowledge of the system and his starting experience. Are either of those things going to help the Cowboys win games if Tony Romo gets hurt? Probably not. But it still helps if the backup has a leg up. If the Cowboys do in fact draft a quarterback, I'd imagine he would fight Dustin Vaughan for a roster spot – but maybe he's potentially good enough to supplant Weeden, too.