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Friday, August 1, 2014
Cowboys' Twitter mailbag, Part 1

By Todd Archer

OXNARD, Calif. – Part 1 of the Dallas Cowboys’ Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it, we discuss:
Away we go:

@toddarcher Surprise performers so far. Good or bad #cowboysmail

— Jeremy Walker (@jwalk130) July 31, 2014
@toddarcher: Let's take a back-of-the-roster view on this because that's what I think you're talking about. On offense, I like what I've seen from receivers Jamar Newsome, Dezmon Briscoe and LaRon Byrd. They all have showed skill that could land them on a 53-man roster, but perhaps not this roster. I think the battle between Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams could be a good one at No. 3 tailback. Both of those guys have had moments. Guard Uche Nwaneri is interesting after not seeing him in the offseason. He is strong. On defense, I'm surprised how Rolando McClain has transitioned in. I'm not sure if he is a complete fit with his speed, but he is on my 53-man roster. He's shown some pretty good instincts. Linebacker Keith Smith seems to be around the ball a lot. Linebacker Joe Windsor has some pass-rush pop. Defensive end Dartwan Bush is showing up. I like what corner Terrance Mitchell has done, but I think he grabs too much. Among the guys you know more about, I don't think there has been a "bad" surprise, as in a guy who isn't playing well. At this point there are guys I just want to see more from: J.J. Wilcox, B.W. Webb, Sterling Moore, Terrell McClain (injured ankle) and Ronald Leary (injured hamstring).

@toddarcher Seems to be the most physical secondary the 'Boys have had in awhile. What say you? #cowboysmail

— B-Schlerf (@YumaCactus) July 31, 2014
@toddarcher: I'm not sure I've seen a John Lynch-type who is just nailing people, but I will agree they are mostly competing better. That's a good thing. Morris Claiborne is competing better, but he's given up plays, too. Same with Webb and Moore. I think you're seeing them use different techniques that allow them to be more disruptive outside than last year. It could be a Seattle influence. There could be a lot of penalties called on these guys with how "handsy" they are, but that's OK. There is a balance you have to learn. It's better to be this way rather than passive. And when it comes to games, you could see a situation in which the officials just get tired of throwing flags. I saw something like that when I covered the Dolphins with Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain. They were so physical with their press coverage that officials let them get away with a lot.

After losing Lawerence, is it worth trying to trade for Dion Jordan as he had a poor year and is still 2nd on the depth chart #cowboysmail

— Tido (@TidoWaleSantana) July 31, 2014
@toddarcher: I doubt this is even on the radar. Jordan has a lot of money due his way and he has a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. That's not a good thing and it's risky to take on a prospect when something like this happens because the next suspension is a long one. The Cowboys have taken low-risk chances on guys such as Amobi Okoye and McClain, but this one just seems to be too high. And Jordan had just two sacks last season. I don't think he's part of the answer. Lawrence will be back and probably play the bulk of the season.

@toddarcher #cowboysmail: With the injuries and the tougher schedule, how realistic is it for us to get back to 8-8?

— Artis Carrol (@AC3_1990) July 30, 2014
@toddarcher: Why not? This team will be led by its offense. I don't know if I should get carried away with what I've seen from the offense because the defense has not been great, or if I should be less worried about the defense because the offense is so good. But if the Cowboys are going to go 8-8 -- or better -- then it will be because of the offense. As for these injuries, well, the only guy they've really lost is Lawrence, and he could be back after three games. Every team has injuries in camp, and I realize Cowboys fans are sensitive to injuries because of what has happened the last couple of seasons, but they have not lost guys for the season ... yet.