Every week, we take questions on Twitter and Facebook about Dallas Cowboys players and other questions surrounding the team. So let’s get right into it.
“With Leighton Vander Esch’s career in question, how does that alter what the Cowboys do in the next NFL Draft?”
(Riley Bragginton via Facebook)
Mike: At this stage you would think linebacker is a major need for next year’s draft. But that all depends on how things shake out between now and the Cowboys final game. The offensive line is in major need of boosting and it’s only getting older. But what happens at cornerback next year? DaRon Bland is having the season of his life, but Jourdan Lewis is out of contract, Stephon Gilmore is also out of contract, so who’s playing nickel back? Also Tony Pollard is playing on the franchise tag so he’s effectively done and leaves the Cowboys needing at running back.
Linebacker is considered very similar to the running back position when it comes to drafting early. Due to the volatility of the position most teams aren’t willing to pay a high draft price for them. And this year’s draft is riddled with quality off-ball linebackers, so if they decide to wait late in the draft, that’s not a bad plan.
“Should they switch Micah Parsons to full time defensive end next season?”
(Rich Gillet via Facebook)
Mike: He’s certainly trended that way this season. Due to unforeseen reasons however, Parsons has needed to play more off-ball than some predicted. But given the Cowboys will look to bolster the position next year and will also have DeMarvion Overshown back, you would expect Parsons to get pushed into the defensive end/pass rusher role full time. There are a few players currently on the defensive end rotation set to walk out the door as well, so if the Cowboys front office decide to not retain any of them, then Parsons gets even more of the lion’s share (pun intended) at defensive end.
“Are the tight ends reliable collectively as a group?”
(Ethan Chaz via Facebook)
Mike: Jake Ferguson as a starting tight end is coming along very nicely. Is he top-five yet? Not quite, but he’s definitely in the top-ten category with what he’s done recently. If Ferguson tightens can be relied upon for those tough catches during pressure moments of the game, then he gets into the next tier of tight ends. He’s very, very close. Peyton Hendershot is back which is nice, but as they always say, availability is the best ability, and we haven’t seen him this season. Then there is everyone’s controversial draft pick, Luke Schoonmaker. He’s tough to complain about as he’s a rookie, so there’s a need to develop, but he also comes with the high draft capital behind him. The frustration from people is only heightened more so as most fans felt the Cowboys could have taken other players at positions of need. Dalton Schultz didn’t strike right away, neither did Jason Witten during his rookie year, so before writing Schoonmaker off completely let’s give him a chance.
So generally as a unit this tight end group is maybe classed as average, but has a lot of promise and upside going forward. Without Jake Ferguson and the pace of his development however, this group would be below average.
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