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Mailbag: Which Is The Bigger Draft Priority?


What's more valuable in the draft first – a defensive player or stud receiver? I assume with Dak, they would rather arm him with as much weapons as needed. – STEPHEN GRAYSON / GREENVILLE, MS

Nick: That's kind of a vague question, especially about the defensive part. If he's really a stud receiver, then you should draft him. Always draft studs – that should be on a plaque inside the War Room. So yes, if it's a "defensive player" vs. "a stud receiver" then it's no question. But if it's a really good defensive player? Like a pass-rusher or a cover corner? I think if everything is equal, then you draft for the need. If it's not equal AND you can find a spot to play him, then take the receiver.

Jonny: We've talked for months about how deep with receivers this draft is. Considering the Cowboys have two top receivers on their roster (more than can be said for a lot of teams), I imagine they'll wait until at least the second or third round to draft a replacement for Randall Cobb. Defense is a more pressing issue, and they're going to be looking to draft a rookie starter in the first round. Another edge rusher with premier talent feels like the position that can have the most immediate impact in my opinion.

During the offseason, the Cowboys have lost one starter and two key backups on the offensive line. Do you see the Cowboys doing anything to replace them through free agency or the draft? – CHARLES HARRISON / AUSTIN, TX

Nick: Mostly replacing them with the guys they already have. They also re-signed Joe Looney, and he probably starts right now at center unless they have an upgrade. Don't forget about Connor McGovern. He was a highly-rated draft pick that didn't play last year and he should be able to contribute as a backup as well. From what I hear, the Cowboys actually like Brandon Knight and his chance to develop even more than Cam Fleming. So Knight should have a shot to compete for the swing tackle role. And then yes, you would think the Cowboys also spend a couple of picks on offensive linemen in the draft.

Jonny: At this point, it would take a quite a bit of luck for them to add someone with All-Pro potential to their offensive line this particular off-season. But players like Joe Looney and Xavier Su'a-Filo provided a lot of unheralded value and showed ability to step in. Looney may very well be a starter this season. I'm sure Dallas would love to find a reliable player or two in that mold late in the draft or in free agency.

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