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Mailbag: Where Is Maurice Canady?


Where is Maurice Canady? Is he hurt? I thought he was going to be a starter. What did I miss? — BARRETT HANCOCK / CHARLOTTE, NC

David: Remember, Canady got his opportunity in the starting lineup in the slot because Jourdan Lewis was out with a hamstring injury. Jourdan returned at the end of training camp, and he's been solid since he got back. To this point, the coaching staff feels more comfortable with Anthony Brown outside than Canady, though he does have some flexibility if they change their minds.

Rob: No, Canady has not been on the injury report. He had a very good training camp playing mostly inside, but the projected starters were always Anthony Brown and Trevon Diggs on the outside and Jourdan Lewis in the slot. To Dave's point, Lewis has played well in two games. I'm interested to see what happens when Kelvin Joseph returns from Reserve/Injured. Once he gets his legs underneath him, do the Cowboys let him learn on the job like Diggs did last year? You have to think he'll get some snaps as the season moves along.

Since we seem to be pretty good at linebacker, why not try the same defensive end replacement with Jaylon Smith. He may not go sideways or backward so well, but he is still pretty quick going forward and has pretty good size. Or he could at least split reps with Micah Parsons so they can both be available at linebacker? — JOHNNY JAMISON / ROANOKE, VA

David: I don't like the idea of a full-time switch. I'm just not sure the full-time requirements of the position would suit Jaylon so well. But I do think he could provide some value as a blitzer and an occasional designated pass rusher. Parsons was awfully good at it, but I wouldn't mind giving Jaylon a few opportunities to try his hand at a similar role. Just as long as he's not doing that exclusively.

Rob: Jaylon Smith has rushed on the line of scrimmage in the past, but I don't see the Cowboys playing him there for 30-plus snaps like what Micah Parsons did in Week 2. Not even sure Parsons will have that same exact role again this week, even with Dorance Armstrong (ankle) uncertain to play Monday. Randy Gregory's expected return from the COVID list is a big boost to the defensive end rotation, and there's a chance Keanu Neal won't be cleared from COVID protocol in time for Monday, so Parsons could be needed at linebacker, too.

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