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Mailbag: Why Is Dez More Important Than Murray?; Carr's Future?

RON CARDENASEL PASO, TX
I understand that the Cowboys may have to move on from Murray because of the dollar he'll command on the open market. I'm assuming Dez will command top dollar because of his freakish talent. Murray touches the ball more than Dez and has more versatility. Teams don't really take Murray away but they can take Dez away with double coverage. So why can the Cowboys be all in on Dez but not on Murray?

David: Most importantly, Dez does not take the down-after-down pounding that comes with being an NFL running back. The average shelf life of a running back in this league is not long – particularly when the running back in question is coming off a 436-carry season. That's a lot of mileage. Dez is also a top target because he does things that very few wide receivers can do. Yes, good defenses can limit him, but he's perhaps the safest bet in one-on-one coverage in the league. I don't want to triviliaze Murray's own talents, but the fantastic offensive line the Cowboys now boast could pave the way for a lot of good running backs. Dez's abilities are harder to replicate, which makes him the more valuable signing.

Nick: Just look at the final play of the game for the offense. Only a handful of players - if that - can do what Dez did. He's just an unreal talent that doesn't come around often. Not to mention, his attitude and determination feeds off to the entire team. You just can't let him get away. Murray is very good and valuable in his own right, but if it comes down to the two players, Dez will be the guy the Cowboys choose. Now, if he could somehow get a deal done soon, freeing up the franchise tag, maybe the Cowboys could rent another year out of Murray.

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NICK ARRANTKAILUA, HI
If we are able to improve our pass rush this offseason, will that affect the decision to keep Brandon Carr in 2015? He had a lot more talent around him in Kansas City and he played much better there.

David: That's a great point, and it's one we made last offseason, too. I think this secondary would perform much better than it has if there was better pressure up front. That said, Carr's future is much less about performance and much more about money. He's got the third-highest cap number on the team for 2015, behind Tony Romo and Tyron Smith. His production simply doesn't merit that high of a number. My best guess is that the Cowboys will ask him to take a paycut. If he is willing, he'll be here next season. If he isn't, the Cowboys will move on.

Nick:Good pressure always makes the corners look better. It's no coincidence Carr played his best football when the Cowboys had both Anthony SPencer and DeMarcus Ware rushing from the end position. Ironically, Carr was the Cowboys' best corner against the Packers, all but shutting down Jordy Nelson. Still, his salary will probably warrant either him getting cut or at least taking a paycut. Maybe the Cowboys can convince him to take less money here, rather than getting cut and taking it elsewhere. Let's not forget this season started with him missing camp because his mother was dying. By the end of the year, Carr was starting to look like the guy we saw two years ago. Oh, and to your question, the pass rush got a lot better in those games, too.

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