Cowboys mini-mailbag: Free agency

May, 6, 2011
5/06/11
10:00
AM ET
Since we're busy celebrating Cinco de Mayo and getting ready for Mother's Day, we've got a short mailbag this week. Not to mention the big fight on Saturday night between Pacquiao and Mosley (Pacman wins in Round 2).

Now to the mini-mailbag:

Q: What do you think our options are at free safety this season? Will we try another experiment at the back? Perhaps pick up one of the free agents if we don't get stuck with the 2011 rules? Or will Akwasi Owusu-Ansah be able to step in to the position? Thanks -- Adam Hall, Cowboys fan from London, UK

A:
The Cowboys would like to bring back free agent Gerald Sensabaugh, but the team wants to see what the market is before deciding how much to pay him. He did play better toward the end of the season, but could have been more physical. Alan Ball, who played free safety, will move back to corner. Don't forget the Cowboys have three safeties on the roster in Owusu-Ansah, Barry Church and Danny McCray. One of those three players will get extensive playing time. With Stephen Jones saying the team will explore free agency, there are three safeties that are out there -- Michael Huff, Dawan Landry and Brodney Pool should generate interest.

Q: Who is there at defensive line in free agency when it finally happens? -- James Henry (Fort Myers, Fla.)

A:
The Cowboys have tendered their two ends -- Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher -- but if the system changes, it could push them to unrestricted free agents. It's uncertain if the Cowboys want unrestricted free agent Marcus Spears back. Sean Lissemore is more of a reserve player at this stage, but the team likes him. Now for the marketplace: Cullen Jenkins and Shaun Ellis are the best of the 3-4 ends, but age and health are a concern. Expect Bowen and Hatcher to compete for a starting job in 2011.

Q: Can we find another wide receiver to go along with Miles Austin, because Roy [Williams] is not the answer, as much as I hate to say it. -- Travis (Liberty, Miss.)

A:
I'm of the belief Roy Williams will remain with the Cowboys in 2011. Saying that, if we don't have a salary cap, he could get cut. But with a new CBA expected at some point, Williams will stay because it's just too much money ($12.9 million) to absorb on the cap. If you do cut Williams, Kevin Ogletree moves into the No. 3 receiver role behind Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. With Jason Witten catching passes and the Cowobys throwing more to the running backs, Felix Jones and Demarco Murray specifically, a No. 3 wideout might be expendable at some point.

From Twitter: @iseekthelord: Do you think Romo organized practices will continue or fizzle out as a lockout remains in place? #Nfllockout

A: No. Romo will continue to help run the practices with his veteran teammates until the lockout ends. The Cowboys will work out 2-3 times a week at an undisclosed location. Romo seems excited about the prospect of the team getting together. He wore his Cowboys T-shirt and shorts the day I spoke with him. Attendance for the workouts is good. The first day there were 40 players working out. On Wednesday, 41 showed up -- with Dez Bryant joining the bunch.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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