Cowboys' Twitter mailbag, Part 2

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
11:00
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – Part 2 of the Dallas Cowboys Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:
  • Trading for a linebacker
  • Ryan Williams’ chances of making the roster
  • Points of emphasis hurting defense, helping offense
  • Trade value of Dwayne Harris

If you want to read Part 1, click here.

Away we go:

@toddarcher: I don't see them making a trade of note, if that's what you're asking. Could they make a deal for a linebacker better than the back-end guys? Sure. They shouldn't give up any premium picks (top four rounds) to get a linebacker. I'd just ride it out with what they have. I can see the Cowboys looking at the waiver wire for help, which wouldn't cost them a thing and they might be able to get a player who can help. Last year they gave up third-day picks for Edgar Jones and Caesar Rayford. Neither deal really worked out, although Rayford is still around, but they didn't give up a lot, either.

@toddarcher: Right now, I'd say Williams doesn't make it. I'm repeating myself, but he duplicates what Joseph Randle does. Last year the Cowboys kept four tailbacks, but Philip Tanner was bigger than their backups and he was a solid special-teamer. Williams isn't really that. I have them keeping Tyler Clutts at fullback right now, but I don't think that is a lock. They have to weigh whether keeping a fullback to play 10 snaps a game is worth it. To me, it's not, but they get paid the big bucks for those decisions. I'd rather have extra defensive players, considering what that side of the ball looks like. An extra tailback and/or a fullback is superfluous in a way.

@toddarcher: It's a two-parter from James because he makes a good point. Playing pass defense this year will be as difficult as me trying to figure out a Rubik's cube. The point of emphasis on contact will make it difficult for the defensive backs. It will make it easier for the receivers and I do think you will see the receivers embellish a little bit if they sense a guy is tugging on a jersey. Dez Bryant is difficult to defend anyway. Now it makes it a lot harder. As for the running game, I'm not one of these, 'You need to run it to win.' I think you need to run it to kill games late after you have built a lead. But from a Cowboys perspective, I don't think they can look at the new rules as a way to abandon the run. They need to run to not only kill games but also run to protect that defense.

@toddarcher: Minimal, but I wouldn't trade him anyway. He is too good of a returner to let walk. If the defense is as porous as we believe, he will get plenty of chances on kick returns and maybe not so much with punt returns. Harris has more value to the Cowboys than he would to another team, unless they can get a starting-type defensive player in return and I don't think he could bring that. He's not done enough as a receiver to warrant a team giving up that type of player. 

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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