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Dallas Cowboys mailbag: Questions about kicker, guard and the draft

People have questions about the Cowboys, and we strive to provide the answers.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Every week, we will be taking questions on Twitter and Facebook about Dallas Cowboys players and other questions surrounding the team. So let’s get right into it.

“The Cowboys didn’t show much interest in adding a kicker so far. What do you expect the plan is?

(Submitted by Cowboysnation Germany via Facebook)

Brandon: Three words for the Cowboys front office—Draft. A. Kicker. If it were only that simple, but when looking around the league and seeing how vital a rookie kicker like Zach McPherson was for Cincinnati and their 2021 run to the Super Bowl, jealousy kicks in (pun intended).

Dallas hasn’t drafted a kicker in quite some time and has been using free agency to fill the void, but selecting someone like Jake Moody from Michigan in the sixth round would be a good use of resources. Moody has kicked in big-time moments for the Wolverines and has kicked in the elements, which, come playoff time for the Cowboys, could be necessary going on the road. He is a name to circle as a possibility and finally kick their problems to the curb (another intentional pun).

Mike: The plan right now looks like the plan they had for last year, wait until training camp and see what comes out the other end. I’m all for using a draft pick and taking a kicker on Day 3. Or there’s hoping they can snag a guy like Christopher Dunn from NC State as a priority UDFA post-draft and see what he can develop into on the roster. Sure some people will point that the Cowboys are carrying a kicker right now in Tristan Vizcaino, but he’s more a practice squad guy that was handy to have as placeholder last year if Brett Maher couldn’t play. Let’s not lean on him and get a year of frustrating kicker-inspired heartbreak. Twelve field-goal attempts with zero attempts from 50-yards or more is not the sample size we want to gamble with.

“I don’t understand why they didn’t sign a starter level LG in free agency. Is that a clear sign they draft one high or is there a backup plan starter they haven’t made public yet?

(Submitted by @ccall727 via Twitter)

Brandon: The Cowboys could consider Chuma Edoga to be a starting-level guard but also see Tyler Smith as someone who could play inside as he did in moments last season if Tyron Smith will be playing left tackle. Having Tyler Smith and Edoga creates a cushion for Dallas if draft weekend doesn’t fall their way, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they select an offensive lineman within the first three rounds. There has also been talk of Josh Ball taking snaps at guard, so keep an eye on that.

Mike: The main answer to this is they must like the guys they already have. Left guard is a glaring need for us on the outside looking in, but the coaches may feel either Matt Farniok or Chuma Edoga are players that can be reliant enough right now. But regardless of that the Cowboys for sure will look to add to the offensive interior during the draft. How early will be the marker on how much confidence the coaches had on the players already on the roster.

“Do you think there is still time/room on the roster to add bring in another big signing in free agency? Also what are your thoughts on drafting a developmental QB this year?

(Submitted by @JTonDallas via Twitter)

Brandon: With under a week away until the draft, the Cowboys have hit pause on free agency. The biggest name that could be added would be a veteran free-agent kicker, but nothing outside of that.

Regarding drafting a developmental quarterback, Dallas seems to be leaning in that direction. They have done extensive homework on Clayton Tune, Aidan O’Connell, and Max Duggan. Tune and O’Connell might have to be selected as high as the fourth round to land in Dallas, but they could wait on Duggan and maybe take him with either of their final two picks.

Mike: Never say never is always the best way to think. Post-draft for every team will be when they will try to fill gaps in the roster or positions they feel is undermanned as they go into camp. So there’s every likelihood the Cowboys could look to free agency should the draft not fill needs they hoped to strengthen. Plus as teams get into training after the draft the sudden explosion of injuries, soft tissue aggravations and the dreaded ACL season begins, teams will dive right into the free agent pool and panic buy. But let’s not hope for that for Dallas, or any team. In terms of drafting a developmental quarterback, I am always on that train every year. Myself and Tom Ryle spoke last week on a podcast about this very idea, and we both say draft one every year. You never know what diamond in the rough you expose by grabbing a signal caller at the end of a draft. By the way the Cowboys front office have brought in guys for visits and workouts I would say they feel the same.

“With Connor McGovern moving on as well as Dalton Schultz and the change in OC, do you think they will draft a fullback?

(Submitted by @mike_heavans via Twitter)

Mike: Myself and Brandon did a BTB Mock draft last week, and ironically with the final pick we selected Hunter Luepke from North Dakota State. They can use that pick for a pass rusher or defensive lineman but I love the idea with Mike McCarthy’s implementation of the west coast offense of having that dynamic fullback that can give you a range of options to play with from the backfield. That puts defenses in second-guess mode and really opens up options for the receiver corps. Plus on the back of his receiving and rushing abilities Luepke also offers the team snaps on special teams, and the more you do the greater the value so why not with a seventh-round pick draft a guy like him.

Brandon: Check out our mock draft on the Blogging the Boys YouTube page to see Mike’s reasoning, but we believe there’s a fullback to pick at the back end of the draft if the Cowboys want to. Hunter Luepke is certainly the one name getting the most buzz in the media, but there could be other names Mike McCarthy would like to play fullback in his offense.

Even with Kellen Moore calling the plays, the Cowboys have used players to fill the fullback role without using a traditional one. Jamize Olawale was the last true fullback Dallas had in their offense, but he was more of a hybrid. If McCarthy wants one, their body type might look more like John Kuhn returning to his days in Green Bay.

Poll Of The Week: Finally on the Mailbag we asked who you would want to see play tight end this year for Dallas. Here are the results and our take on the poll.

Brandon: With the recent mock drafts having the Cowboys taking a tight end in the first round, the 26 percent who selected “draft pick” might be the winners come Week 1. If Dallas picks a tight end at No. 26, ironically the same number as the percentage, they will be assumed to be the starter or at least compete with Ferguson/Hendershot.

It’s good to see the “trade option” with a meager percentage because the Cowboys can undoubtedly find a starting caliber tight end even in the fourth round of this year’s draft if they had to. The talent at the position is undeniable, so Dallas would be wise to take a flyer on one.

Mike: There’s a lot of love for Jake Ferguson. For sure he’s talented with huge upside and reminds me a lot of Anthony Fasano who once played for Dallas. But he has some work to do bulking up and having better technique in pass blocking so right now is more a complementary tight end. But where the Cowboys drafted him and what he showed last year as a baseline of what he can do, there’s every bit he could turn out to be a fantastic move tight end for Dallas. Let’s not take our eye off Hendershot either, he could be the dark horse in this race who has all hall-markings of what Blake Jarwin once was.

Be sure to check @kenfigkowboy and @brandoniswrite on Twitter and also Facebook for the weekly post, asking you for your questions for the weekly mailbag. Check for the Poll of The Week on Twitter. Many thanks to everyone that sends in your questions and votes.

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