VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
Instead of releasing Miles Austin, wouldn't the Cowboys benefit by getting him to agree on a contract reduction?
Rowan: They'll probably try to reason and level with him and see if he'll take a significant cut – but I mean significant. I just don't know that he'll agree to that, and I think if or when that happens they have to be content with moving on. They may be ready to try something new at that position after he missed another five games and didn't even finish with 300 yards.
David: Let's say the Cowboys do get Austin to agree to a significant pay cut. Even at a greatly reduced price, is he worth it? We're talking about a guy who you'd hope is your No. 2 or No. 3 receiver next year, and he finished with 244 yards and no touchdowns in 2013. You can make the obvious argument that he could have a bounce-back year, but the multiple years of injuries weigh heavily on my mind. I think it's probably better to start fresh.
SAN ANGELO, TX
I know it would be ideal to have a balanced defense with a strong pass rush and a stingy secondary, but if you had to choose between the two units to be the featured strength of your defense, which would it be?
Rowan:The strong pass rush will always make a secondary look better. It's a bit more difficult for it to happen the other way around. If the pass rush [embedded_ad] consistently got home, it would make average corners and safeties look like top-notch players. To me, it all starts with the pass rush.
David: It was pretty impressive to see how Seattle's safeties were able to render Jimmy Graham essentially useless last weekend in the playoffs. There's something to be said for having playmakers at all four positions in the secondary. But the odds you draft and develop that well across the board are slim. An effective pass rush can make decent and even mediocre defensive backs look much better. Give me the pressure every time.