The college basketball regular season is coming to a close, but our Cowboys weekend mailbag is just heating up.
Q: I guess it's safe to assume Sean Lee is penciled in at middle linebacker and Bruce Carter at outside linebacker. My question is Alex Albright or Kyle Wilber ready to take over the other side, or do the Boys need to address this in the draft or free agency? Norm (Asheville, N.C.)
A: The Cowboys are not going to be major players in free agency to get an outside linebacker. The franchise wants to allocate its funds on quarterback Tony Romo and defensive end Anthony Spencer. Albright and Wilber are two candidates for the position. Wilber had an uneventful rookie season (credited with three total tackles), so he'll get every opportunity to become a starter. There was some discussion about moving Wilber to defensive end, so we'll see how that experiment goes if started. Albright has more playing experience than Wilber, so he could get the first-team reps in practices this summer. We expect Wilber to eventually win this position because he has more upside, but Albright has proven to be a good tackler, and it will be an interesting battle in training camp.
Q: Do you think the Cowboys would consider sending a fourth-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for (quarterback) Nick Foles, or do you think they will just draft a QB like Landry Jones in the late rounds? Tony Luna (Lubbock)
A: Let's be honest, Chip Kelly likes Michael Vick, but Nick Foles isn't going anywhere. The Eagles are not trading a backup quarterback, with the potential to become a starter, to a division rival. Foles might not have the ability to run the read-option type of offense, but he does have a skill set the Eagles want to take advantage of as much as possible. Foles is going to compete for the backup role with the Eagles this season. I doubt Jones will hang around in the late rounds for the Cowboys; he's a mid-round pick. Dallas has needs along both lines, safety and running back. If Fields is there in the sixth round, which I doubt, sure, grab him. But I don't believe that's realistic. I'm never against drafting a quarterback, especially given the age of the current one -- Tony Romo turns 33 in April -- so the team should obtain one if it makes sense.
Q: Calvin, if the Cowboys get the opportunity, what do you think about drafting safety Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas? I've watched this guy throughout the season, and he's quick and physical and plays with a lot of smarts. Do you think they take the chance? Manny M. (Parachute, Colo.)
A: The Cowboys value Vaccaro immensely but whether or not he'll fall to No. 18 is uncertain. The thinking is if some of the top-tier offensive and defensive linemen get drafted early in the first round, it could push Vaccaro down to the middle part of the draft. This is where Jerry Jones, the trader, comes in. If Vaccaro is still available at 15 or 16, then the Cowboys might need to trade up and draft him.