Cowboys' Twitter mailbag, Part 2

August, 2, 2014
8/02/14
10:00
AM ET
OXNARD, Calif. -- Part 2 of the Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:
Away we go:

@toddarcher: Ten always seemed like an unrealistic number because only the rare players reach those heights as rookies. DeMarcus Ware had eight as a rookie and four came in his last two games. It just takes time for these guys as rookies. Now add an injury into the equation, which will cost him practice time and hurt his conditioning, and I think the expectations need to be ratcheted down. I think when he comes back the Cowboys will use him mostly as a designated pass-rusher and not on first and second down as much. I wasn't a guy who had him with 10 sacks as a rookie. I think six would have been a great season. He could miss anywhere from three to six games, so I'd knock that down to four and say he had a good rookie year when you factor in the injury. @toddarcher: Honestly, I'm keeping it the same. Losing Lawrence is a blow to the defense, but he's just a rookie and never played a game. I didn't view him as Jevon Kearse, who blew up as a rookie and was a primetime player for the Titans. I viewed him as a solid player who can help. But losing him doesn't really change my expectations of the defense. He was still a question mark. The question marks remain the same as they were when camp opened. The defense has been beat up at times in camp. Now, do we look at it like they are facing a great offense? Perhaps, but they've been diced up pretty good. I just think they have too many holes to go from No. 32 to middle of the pack. They're playing a number of good offenses and quarterbacks. If they do finish No. 25, then that could be a big enough jump to get them one more win than last year and into the playoffs provided the offense is near the best in the league. @toddarcher: Honestly I think the "mean" stuff is overplayed. I'm not sure what people mean by that anyway. Is it being dirty, chippy, putting an extra thump on a guy? That stuff doesn't mean much to me. How do they play and how powerful are they? I wouldn't consider Tyron Smith mean, but I wouldn't want to have to go up against him either. Travis Frederick isn't mean, but he's tough. You can say the same about the other guys. Bill Parcells said the best teams take on the personalities of their offensive lines. Well, these guys are hard-working, professional and will fight. Those are all good traits. I think this line will be the best the Cowboys have had since 2007 when Flozell Adams, Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode deservedly went to the Pro Bowl. Kyle Kosier and Marc Colombo played at high levels too. The demeanor of this group isn't nasty or mean, but it is smart and tough. I'd take that. @toddarcher: Is it more than most? Because there is such a focus on the Cowboys I think we lose sight of the fact that every team has injuries in camp. Losing Lawrence is their worst injury, but the rest of them that have been suffered are typical aches and pains of camps. The key is to avoid season-ending injuries or injuries that will cost players significant playing time. I do think there is an element of luck involved. They have altered their training work this offseason, so they're trying to do some things different. As Jason Garrett says, the good teams overcome injuries. Sometimes I do believe the Cowboys bank on health as a reason why things will improve, which is wrong. They should take a half-empty look at the injury situation so they are better prepared. They might not lose as many defensive linemen or linebackers this year, but the numbers might hit at different spots. @toddarcher: I have had Smith on my first two roster projections, but he has missed time with a leg injury that will hurt. He needs to get back on the field competing. Bush has used injuries to others as an opportunity to help himself. He was an afterthought when he signed after a rookie camp tryout, but he is getting meaningful snaps against better competition on offense and doing OK. I'm not ready to put him on the 53-man roster but he might be playing his way on to the practice squad, and that's saying something considering where he started. 

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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