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Mailbag: Which Of The DT's Wind Up On The Roster?



I'm curious as to why there is a question about who is the better guard between Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau. The combo of Leary and Smith last season gave Murray a highway to run through. Is this more about the concern of Leary's knee?

Bryan: There is concern about Leary's knee, but to his credit, he was able to fight through any issues that he might have had during the season and as you mentioned, be very productive. The question really is more about who is the better of the two? Mackenzy Bernadeau played very well on the right side and with the plan of Zack Martin already fitting in there, they needed to find a spot for Bernadeau and competing with Leary makes the position that much stronger. Whoever wins that job on the left side will truly have earned it and that is the best case situation for the offensive line. Don't look at it as a negative.

David: I'm sure Leary's longterm health is something the Cowboys will keep an eye on, but I don't think it'll be the reason he loses the starting job – if he loses it at all. If everything is equal, I won't be surprised if Leary wins the job, partly because of his pre-existing experience with Tyron Smith and partly because Bernadeau has the flexibility to be a backup center. But like Bryan said, the competition is good for the position.

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Right now I count six defensive tackles that stand a good chance to make the roster. It's early, but how many would you think they'd keep, and who?

Bryan: I believe that they will keep four, so that leaves two guys out of the mix. I still have my questions about would they keep a veteran like Hayden, but I know there is a great deal of love for him by the coaching staff. I really do like Davon Coleman a lot and if Ben Bass can stay healthy, he is going to make a real run in training camp. I would like to see Terrell McClain start over Hayden and maybe training camp will prove that out. You have to also keep in mind that Tyrone Crawford can play inside and if Amobi Okoye gets healthy, then you have to consider him as well.  

David: It seems like a good bet that they'll keep either eight or nine defensive linemen, so six defensive tackles seems like a little much. Henry Melton is a safe bet, and so is Terrell McClain. Like Bryan mentioned, Crawford will probably flop between defensive tackle and defensive end, so that leaves a competition between Bass, Hayden, Ken Bishop, Coleman and maybe Okoye for the last few spots. My guess is Hayden and Bass make the team. Perhaps one of the rookies, as well, but probably not both.

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