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Dallas Cowboys mailbag: Was Luke Schoonmaker the right choice?

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

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session Photo by Michael Owens/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.

“Should the Cowboys of drafted Torrence over Schoonmaker?

(Submitted by Nick Kall via Facebook)

Mike - At this stage you have to give the scouting team and the coaches the benefit of the doubt, and let’s be honest, they deserve it. The Cowboys scouting department led by Will McClay is one of the best in the NFL and their success rate is better than most teams in recent years. The way to look at this is Dalton Schultz was a free agent so the scouting department had plenty of time to look at the college players and find his replacement. The fact that Schoonmaker went earlier than what analysts said is an indication that what the Cowboys scouts really liked what they saw and believe he’s that good.

Don’t forget how many times the Cowboys make surprise moves like this in the draft and that player ends up being a multiple Pro Bowl-type player. On the flip side, O’Cyrus Torrence was touted as a sure fire first-round talent that was going to be the first inside offensive lineman off the board. That narrative didn’t work out meaning every team had more questions on him which included the Cowboys. For Dallas, ultimately they have options they can play with at left guard and move things around to make it work, one of those options is first-round player Tyler Smith.

Brandon - It’s still too early to tell which player would have been the better selection. Schoonmaker and Torrence have yet to take a snap in a regular-season game. The Cowboys had a need at tight end with Dalton Schultz leaving and uncertainty of Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot taking a more prominent role in the offense. In their evaluation, they felt Schoonmaker was a better player than Torrence. For a team that has aced the draft, give them the benefit of the doubt they drafted the right guy. The former Michigan tight end has dealt with injuries during OTAs and minicamp, but don’t bet against him having an impact this season with at least 300 yards receiving and playing a vital role in the run game.

“If the Cowboys don’t win at least two playoff games this season will there be serious QB discussions taking place next year?

(Submitted by Andy Minnet via Facebook)

Mike - This is impossible to say. If Dak looks like he’s declining and his interception rate isn’t improving, or he is making bad choices with the ball, then yes you have to have ask the tough questions. But the success or failure of a team’s entire season, which include playoff wins, cannot just be placed on the quarterback and his performance. The playoffs is where the rubber meets the road and the big complaint about Dak is when the bright lights of playoff football come on he crumbles, but all I’ll say is if that were true we would have to dismiss his performance against Tampa Bay last year (which was maybe one his best games he’s ever played). How much blame is put where if the Cowboys don’t go on a deep playoff run this year will be dependent on which part of the team didn’t do it’s job, that includes coaches.

Brandon - Owner Jerry Jones and Co. will need to figure out the contract situation, given his cap hit for 2024 is outrageous, but I don’t think they’ll agree on a new contract until the end of the season for a few reasons. No. 1—I’m sure the front office has come to the conclusion if Prescott leads them to the Championship Game or Super Bowl, they’ll be paying him a lot of money no matter what. No. 2—if the Cowboys only win one game or Prescott misses a majority of the season again, putting his injury history into question, that would be the only scenario the team might question their options at quarterback.

Until that happens, the Cowboys have complete faith in Prescott to be their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. It’s not a question of whether No. 4 will be a Dallas Cowboy in 2024; it’s how much he will be making in 2024.

Poll Of The Week: Finally on the Mailbag we asked which player would get the interceptions for Dallas this year, not named Trevon Diggs. Here are the results and our take on the poll.

Mike - Last year DaRon Bland was a complete surprise. When the Cowboys lost Jourdan Lewis, and later Anthony Brown, it was Bland that stepped up and answered the call. Without his skills and ability, we could have seen a much different end to the Cowboys season. Bland finished the season leading the Cowboys in interceptions, and that’s with Diggs playing a full season and with Bland playing a little over half. In fact, Bland finished tied for second-most interceptions in the league last season and was the second-highest rookie on that list behind only Tariq Wooolen who had six interceptions. Don’t discount Stephon Gilmore though this year, he’s very capable of finding the football.

Brandon - After the season Bland had in Dallas as a rookie, it’s not surprising he came out on top of the poll this week. According to Pro Football Focus, Bland allowed just ten yards per reception, which was third best for a rookie cornerback playing at least 50 percent of the snaps in 2022. The defense leaned on Bland to pick the pieces when the Cowboys lost Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown for the season. With Lewis expected to start training camp on the PUP list, it becomes the second-year corner’s job to lose entering training camp.

Of the other players listed, Stephon Gilmore might have enough left in the tank to give Bland a run for second place on the team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Eric Scott Jr. has more interceptions than Kelvin Joseph by the end of the year.

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

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