Dallas Cowboys Twitter mailbag, Part 2


IRVING, Texas – Part 2 of the Dallas Cowboys’ Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:

If you want to see Part 1, click here.

Away we go:

@toddarcher: I think there was a little overreaction to the workouts of Felix Jones, Ben Tate and Daniel Thomas, among others. I would put those workouts in the category of standard operating procedure. Teams work out players all the time because you never know what you will find or when you will need help. I believe Joseph Randle will be the starting running back when the season opens, provided he is healthy and not punished by the league for his arrest this offseason. Tate might be the most intriguing because he did have a moment or two last year with Cleveland that might make him worth signing. But to say he would be the starter, I think, is a stretch right now.

@toddarcher: I had a few Ray Rice questions this week. The fact that he wasn't among the workouts this week should tell you he's not on the Cowboys' radar. And I think the same would go for Chris Johnson. Rice was a declining player before he had his off-field troubles. He averaged 3.1 yards per carry in 2013. He's not the same runner you remember. Neither is Johnson, although if I had to make a choice between the two, I would take Johnson. If teams believed Rice had anything left, he would be signed by now, even with the off-field stuff. Teams take chances on troubled players all the time. Greg Hardy is a Cowboy because he can still rush the passer. If he couldn't, then he wouldn't be in the league.

@toddarcher: The Cowboys certainly hope some of that happens, but you have to remember Hardy will be suspended and rookies like Gregory hardly ever come in and set the NFL on fire. It takes time for them. But I do think by adding talent on the outside, the Cowboys will help Tyrone Crawford. He had three sacks and 29 quarterback pressures last year while learning the three-technique spot as he went along. It was a pretty good year for him. This year he knows more about what he can do and, maybe more importantly, what he can't do on the interior. Crawford's spot is the key in this defense. The Cowboys need him to improve over last year and believe he is an ascending player.

@toddarcher: The Cowboys brought up the position flexibility of Jones when they took him in the first round. To me, it's all dependent on what happens at cornerback. If Morris Claiborne not only returns to health but shows marked improvement, or if Corey White can be a player, then the Cowboys could look at Jones as a safety. In my opinion, the Cowboys are good enough with Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox at safety. Do you want better? Sure, but there aren't many elite safeties in the league anywhere. Jones could be the center-field type of safety Church and Wilcox aren't if the cornerback spot settles differently. I don't think you'll see him at safety in 2015, but it could be something that happens in the future.

@toddarcher: It seems like there are 47 linebackers on the roster at the moment. Sorting through them all is difficult, but here is my best guess right now - and it's just a guess because we haven't seen nearly enough to say anything definitive: Sean Lee, Rolando McClain, Anthony Hitchens, Jasper Brinkley, Andrew Gachkar, Kyle Wilber and Damien Wilson. Keith Rivers and Mark Nzeocha will have to win jobs this summer with Nzoecha, a seventh-rounder, being a practice-squad candidate.