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Mailbag: Xavier Woods' Camp; D-Line Depth?

17 December 2017: Xavier Woods (25) of the Dallas Cowboys during their NFL week 15 regular season 20-17 win over the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys


How has Xavier Woods looked at safety playing with and against the starters? And how has Kris Richard helped his development?

Rob: He's been solid. He hasn't made a ton of plays on the ball in practice, but sometimes that's tough to do when you're playing deep. Byron Jones and Chido Awuzie have more chances when they're lined up one on one with a receiver. But you don't see any coverage busts with Woods and that's promising. I think he's got a chance to be a really good starter. Richard has set an aggressive tone with all these young DBs.

Bryan: Maybe the most asked question I receive. Woods is fine. He doesn't make mental mistakes. He lines up in the correct spot. He's not a liability when he plays. Would I like to see him make more plays on the ball? Absolutely. My hope for him that he continues to develop and some of the issues I observed as a tackler last season correct themselves.


I know it's early, but after observing all the practices I can't help but see a lot of promise to this defensive line. Is it possible that it could be deep enough to keep the Cowboys from having to break the bank on Lawrence, and rely on the draft yet again?

Rob: I want Lawrence on my defensive line now and in the future. He's been outstanding in this camp and grown tremendously as a pass rusher over the last four years – not sure we've talked about it enough. Elsewhere on the line, Tyrone Crawford is steady, Dorance Armstrong has shown promise and we all know Randy Gregory's talent when he's on the field. But Lawrence has developed into an elite player. You need those.

Bryan: If Lawrence has another big season, they'll have to pay him. But this group has gone toe to toe with this offensive line, winning more of their share of battles which I didn't believe possible. Would I like to see more from Taco Charlton and Charles Tapper? Yes, I would. But overall the group has been good. Matter of fact, the front seven have good.

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