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Mailbag: Why Didn't The Cowboys Bring In A Bruising Back?

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FRED LONDON
KNOXVILLE, TN

I am somewhat surprised that the Cowboys did not bring into camp a big, bruising RB to improve their TD percentage on the ground. Are you?

Nick: I'm not that surprised because they drafted Randle in the fifth round and they apparently think highly of Lance Dunbar. Those are probably going to be the three backs on this team. Personally, I don't think the running backs are the reason they aren't scoring in the red zone. It's the offensive line. They need to a better push up front. These guys are big enough to score. Randle scored 40 touchdowns in two years. He knows how to get the ball over the goal line. Fix the line and I think you'll find they have backs who can score.

Rowan: I thought they'd either grab their backup back in free agency or the draft. I'm not surprised after taking Randle that they haven't selected another back in free agency. Most teams utilize a two-back system. Lance Dunbar, Phillip Tanner or Kendial Lawrence could also earn a spot on the team, but it seems with Murray and Randle they want to go into the year with two backs boasting similar skill sets. Either one should be capable of finding the end zone when healthy.

MATT LORD
ROCHESTER, NY

With all of the refinancing Jerry has done with player contracts, and the cap where it lays, is it realistic to think Dallas can keep both Dez and Sean Lee on this team past their rookie contracts? I would be terrified to see either on another team.

Nick: Yeah, I don't think you'll see those guys play with another team. The cap will be better next year with the $5 million penalty coming off the books. Plus, these guys know how to manage the contracts to make them count lower at the beginning with higher amounts later on. By then, you'll probably have a few other high-priced contracts off the books. If the Cowboys decide they want to pay these two players, then they'll find a way to keep them. If they don't sign them, it won't come down to money.  

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Rowan: I can't see a scenario where the Cowboys let either of those two players go, even if that means having to let some other players go in free agency. Now that Romo's locked up, Lee and Bryant are two of the most important contracts for the Cowboys to lock up. They can wait another year before worrying about Bryant, whose deal's up after the 2014 season. But I don't see either player going to another team, even with the Cowboys' cap concerns. Still, the Cowboys have to be careful about how they use their money, particularly with Bryant, Bruce Carter and DeMarco Murray all set to be free agents after the 2014 season.  

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