With the Cowboys enjoying a much-needed bye week, football analyst Bryan Broaddus answers a few questions from fans on various topics.
Jordan in Nebraska:Do you think Matt Johnson is going to be a reliable option at Safety?
Broaddus: There is a side of me that has taken a personal interest in Johnson because when he was drafted I studied all the film I could on him just to try and get a feel for his game. Let's be honest, not many of us see a lot of Eastern Washington games on television. I did like Johnson's games in college and at the time I really believed that he could have helped at safety. I don't believe that the Cowboys would have drafted him if they didn't feel like he had a real shot but he needs to play. This defense has gotten something out of their rookies, Claiborne, Crawford and in the Bears game Kyle Wilber. If Johnson can stay healthy, he has a chance because he is smart and tough but he has to get past these injuries that are keeping him from playing.
*Ron in California:Assuming you have prior knowledge that you will be able to draft Mo Claiborne, would you still have chosen Brandon Carr over Carl Nicks or Ben Grubbs? *
Broaddus: I really do like this question because I am a fan of Mike Jenkins and I would have had no problem pairing him with Claiborne. Now with that said, I would have taken a run at a guard like Nicks or Grubbs in that situation. But let me take this one step further, I would have still signed Carr but instead of drafting Claiborne looked at DeCastro from Stanford for one of those spots at guard and in the second round tried to draft a center or a pass rusher. When the Cowboys moved up in the draft, I thought they were going after Fletcher Cox or Mark Barron but they had their sights set on Claiborne.
Mark in Delaware:Where is all the defensive creativity from Rob Ryan that we've been hearing about for two years? I thought the QBs weren't supposed to know we're the blitzes were coming from?
Broaddus: Last year was last year but I understand your question. I think you have to give Ryan and this staff a lot of credit for holding this defense together the best they have with all the injuries that they have had. They have played this season with backups at safety, nose, outside linebacker, defensive end and they are ranked in the top five in defense? I would say that Ryan has shown a great deal of creativity on a weekly basis. Playing Carr and Jenkins at safety pops into my mind right now. When Ryan does call a blitz and it gets home like the one with Victor Butler and he misses the sack, is that Ryan's fault? I would say not.
Bo in Tennessee:Do you think Dez Bryant is going to pan out to be a good football player whether it's here in Dallas or somewhere else in the league? I think his maturity has to catch up with his athleticism and his physical football talent.
Broaddus: I was the cheerleader for Bryant this off season when he came into camp with a better understanding of what he needed to do to be a top flight wide receiver in this league. I said he was running routes with a purpose and you could see that in training camp so I am not going to sit here and make excuses for him. Receivers make mistakes in reading coverage, I can't tell you how many times I have seen Tom Brady give Wes Welker a strange look after a play. It's something you fix and move on. Where Bryant has to get better is when he reads a coverage the wrong way and it costs his team points, he can't let it happen again. I truly believe that Bryant made a mistake but he is no different than any other receiver on this team that have made mistakes too, I see it every day when I study tape but I do agree with you about that maturity level. Thanks for the comment.