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Mailbag: Why Not Try McGovern At Center?


Why have the Cowboys continued to give Connor Williams snaps at center when he has proven he can't play there when they have a former college center already on the team at backup guard? Why is Connor McGovern not getting any center reps? — MITCH GRAHAM / ALBUQUERQUE, NM

David: I think the fact that we can all see the issue here should send a very clear signal. Regardless of whether or not you agree with them, the coaching staff doesn't think Connor McGovern is ready to handle two jobs at once. I know he played center in college, but mastering one position in the NFL is tough work, let alone two. I think they trust Connor Williams to learn how to play center more than they trust Connor McGovern to multi-task. You don't have to agree, but that clearly seems to be their evaluation or else we would have seen McGovern get a shot by now.

Nick: At this point, you have to wonder why we haven't seen that scenario. On one hand, you can safely assume the Cowboys have at least seen enough of McGovern at center to suggest he's not the best option. However, if you think about the very reason they're trying Williams there at all, I would bet someone in the front office and/or coaching staff was hoping Williams would shine at center and actually take over as the starter. If that happened, then McGovern likely take over at guard. So if this truly about finding the five best linemen to play at once, then it would make sense to use both Connors at guard and center to see the best fit.

Even though Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker are both free safeties, it seems to me that as long as they're healthy that they are the two best safeties on the roster. Is there any chance they both can start and one plays strong safety? — AARON WAGNER / RALEIGH, NC

David: My initial reaction was to say no – but then I thought about the big hit Malik Hooker laid at the start of the third quarter on Saturday night. Most people would agree that coverage is the harder aspect of playing safety, so having two guys who cover doesn't sound like a bad thing, as long as they aren't liabilities against the run. If I had to guess, I don't think we're going to see them start next to each other all the time. But we know how Dan Quinn loves to mix and match, and it wouldn't surprise me if he finds ways to put both of them on the field together – or maybe even in a three-safety look.

Nick: My thought was that good safeties are pretty much interchangeable, so I don't see why they couldn't play together. We will see Donovan Wilson in the mix but maybe he doesn't start. Don't forget that someone at safety must play special teams and Wilson makes the most sense. So yeah, those guys can probably line up together if one of them shows enough hitting ability. And I also think we need to start mention Jayron Kearse a little more.

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