Cowboys' Twitter mailbag, Part 1

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
8:00
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – Part 1 of the Dallas Cowboys’ Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:
Away we go:

@toddarcher: I'd put Dez Bryant in the top 5-10 receivers in the league already, so I'm not so sure how much higher his ceiling is. He's already among the NFL's best receivers. Once you're in that neighborhood, does it really matter? Yes, that's easy for me to say when I don't have a contract on the line, but Bryant is in the conversation with the best right now. As far as Murray is concerned, I think there needs to be concern if he goes down. He might not be the bell cow, but he is close to it. Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle would offer elements of what Murray can do, but they don't offer the same complete package. I think they would be able to withstand the Murray loss to a degree because of their ability to throw the ball, but I don't think they would be able to close out games quite as well with the running game.

@toddarcher: Without questions it is/was Williams. He was a higher pick, coming in the third round, and Street was picked in the fifth. Williams also had more of a chance to compete as a rookie, considering the state of the receiver position in 2013 compared to '14. Miles Austin was a starter, but had hamstring issues. Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris were not in established roles. Neither was Gavin Escobar. Street comes to the team against more of a stacked deck with Williams, Beasley, Harris and Escobar in bigger roles. That's not a knock on Street, because he has played well in the summer, but getting a role on the offense as a rookie will be more challenging for him than it was for Williams.

@toddarcher: He didn't have a date when we posed the question to him on Tuesday, but he's likely to miss at least the first three regular-season games, possibly more. This is a difficult injury to return from. It takes time and it will be a pain-tolerance issue to some degree. I raised the possibility of Lawrence starting the season on injured reserve with a designation to return. With injuries at other spots, the Cowboys might not have another choice but to make such a move with Lawrence.

@toddarcher: Head coach Jason Garrett likes to say that the best players will play, regardless of who they are or where they came from. If that's the case, then Kyle Wilber should be in the starting lineup on opening day. He has played better than Bruce Carter. It's been interesting this week to see Anthony Hitchens with the first team at middle linebacker, with Carter and Durant at outside linebacker. Carter has simply not made many plays. He looks the same. It's not horrible. It's just not what you want from a former second-round pick with great athletic ability. Something is missing when it comes to football instincts. It's not a question of working hard. He does that. He takes all the snaps he needs to take, and then some, if the linebackers are short a player because of injury. But at some point, you have to see production. I've been of the belief that the starting linebackers in Week 1 would be Wilber, Durant and Rolando McClain, but I don't know how they can count on McClain. As a result, Carter might fight to live another day with the starters.

@toddarcher: I don't think the increased size of the practice squad will affect Dustin Vaughan's future. He would be a candidate for it if they had just five spots. The Cowboys have to keep a quarterback around in some capacity behind Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden. The question is if the Cowboys could sneak Vaughan through waivers at the final cuts. He has done well in his preseason work, so perhaps a team would gamble a roster spot on him early in the season. The Cowboys don't want to lose Vaughan, but they might not have a choice, considering the moving parts they could be facing on defense for Week 1. My guess right now is Vaughan will be on the practice squad to start the season, not the 53-man roster.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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