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Mailbag: Why Not Turner? Ready For Year 2 Jump? 


I was disappointed that the Cowboys were not able to re-sign Malik Turner. I thought that he was coming into his own and that he was gaining more confidence. Do you see this means the Cowboys giving Simi Fehoko and Noah Brown more opportunities, or the Cowboys using an early draft pick on a wide receiver? – KENNETH JACOBS / DENVER, CO

Nick: Let's not overlook this part – the Cowboys were definitely ABLE to re-sign Turner. Even after he was able to test the market, the Cowboys had nearly a month to get him back. Clearly, that was not in their plans. But, I agree with you in that he seems like a good, veteran option, especially for the offseason and trying to run the offense. Maybe the Cowboys viewed him as a progress-stopper for guys like Fehoko and then there's a few more young guys that were on the practice squad. But they had options to get him back and that wasn't their priority.

Rob: The answer is quite possibly both. We know Noah Brown is going to be a core special teams player, and that would be the hope for Simi Fehoko in his second season, too. Obviously wide receiver looks like one of the top two or three position needs heading into the draft. Where, exactly? We'll see. Malik Turner was very efficient with his opportunities, but he only averaged nine snaps on offense in 14 games. The Cowboys have had success drafting receivers the last five drafts in particular, and they're probably pretty confident they can keep developing this position.

Which player or two from 2021 with limited game reps (whether due to injury, or position on depth chart) do you think will get more playing time or otherwise move up the depth chart? – THOMAS NARRO / ARLINGTON, MA

Rob: Malik Hooker is looking at big snaps unless the Cowboys add safety competition in the next few weeks. Jabril Cox will have a chance to take over Keanu Neal's role in the linebacker rotation once he's back from the 2021 knee injury. Josh Ball is a candidate at swing tackle, and in the past six seasons that position has been a multiple-game starter because of injuries. And it'll be interesting to see if Kelvin Joseph can push for more playing time after missing the early chunk of his rookie season with a groin injury.

Nick: All of the guys Rob just said. I'll add another – Chauncey Golston could be ready to make a big leap. He seemed to be around the ball a lot in limited playing time. And now, they put that No. 99 on him – I'm expecting even bigger things from him. But let's see how the draft shakes out but even with that, Golston has a unique position flex that will probably keep him on the field, if he can stay healthy.

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