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Mailbag: With Dez Signed, Who's Next In Line For A Long-Term Deal?

MICHAEL RICKEMADISON, SD

Now that Dez has worked out a contract, who do you feel is the most important player the Cowboys will look to extend/re-sign next and who might earn the franchise tag at the end of next season?

Bryan: The next two logical players that they would look to extend or re-sign in my mind would be Ron Leary and Tyrone Crawford. I know for a fact that they really don't like to use the tag but as we have seen from how it protected them with Bryant it is a possibility. Leary has been super steady and from what I have seen around Valley Ranch this summer working out appears to be in the best shape of his life. Question will always be long term about his knee. Crawford should have a huge year with the addition of Hardy and the growth of Lawrence putting pressure off the edge. 

Rob: My guess would be Tyrone Crawford, who has star potential and one year left on his rookie contract. With a full season as the three-technique tackle now under his belt, he could break out in 2015. The Cowboys could try to extend him early, as they did with Jay Ratliff in 2007 before his first Pro Bowl appearance, or Crawford could choose to bet on himself and potentially boost his value. As for the franchise tag for 2016, most of this team's core is signed for at least the next couple years, and as has been reported, it can't be Greg Hardy due to a clause in his contract. Not sure there's a tag candidate on the roster.

CHARLIE MENDOZAEL PASO, TX

With Hardy and Randy Gregory getting all the attention during the OTA's, how is Lawrence progressing? Throw in Crawford, and this should be a formidable defensive line. Your thoughts.

Bryan: I really like what I have seen from the physical side of Lawrence and how he has remade his body. Playing on that left side looks like a natural fit for him and he appears to be comfortable with it. The most important thing about the group is that there is flexibility across the line and that is what Rod Marinelli has strived for since he has been with the club. They appear to finally have it. 

Rob:The left defensive end spot could create a lot of playmaking opportunities for Lawrence. With Gregory and eventually Hardy on the right side most of the time, Lawrence won't be facing opponents' left tackles. When Hardy returns from suspension, he's going to have an enormous impact on the line. Not only is he one of a few true elite rushers, he can play anywhere, which allows Marinelli to mix up his rotations.

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