If the defense is ranked at least 16th, do the Cowboys have a shot at playoffs?
David: I'm going to step out on a limb and say that if this defense finishes No. 16, the Cowboys will absolutely make the playoffs – probably as division champions. It's hard to imagine this offense finishing below No. 10 or so in the league, given the talent on hand and the successes of its new playcaller with similar weapons. So, we know the Cowboys will score points. If they can improve a whopping 16 spots on defense, it should be enough to give them that elusive ninth or 10th win.
Rowan: Yes, they absolutely have a shot, particularly considering how little it's taken to win the NFC East in recent years and how close the finish always seems to be. This season appears to be almost entirely on the fate of the defense and on the back of Tony Romo, literally and figuratively. If the defense can find a way to lose DeMarcus Ware, lose Jason Hatcher and lose Sean Lee and somehow still be in the middle of the pack, the Cowboys would be in good shape.
There is always talk about who really showed up during offseason workouts. Who in your opinion did not impress you during OTAs and minicamp?
David:It's harsh to say they "didn't impress," because they play an incredibly physical position and offseason practices are no-contact. That [embedded_ad] said, it didn't seem like we saw a definitive solution to the loss of Sean Lee – not to mention the immediate future of the linebacker corps. I don't feel any more confident or optimistic about the linebackers than I did the day Lee went down, and as far as I'm concerned that's one of the chief issues facing the Cowboys in training camp.
Rowan: This is a tough question, just because when you look at a lot of these positions, you can't really know anything until they start hitting with the pads on. It's the same reason answering which players stood up or "showed up" is hard to answer, because all players with the ball have an advantage when they aren't getting hit around. But I'll go ahead and say the rookie quarterbacks who were given a shot, going all the way back to rookie minicamp, didn't particularly stand out.