Every week, we take questions on X (Twitter) and Facebook about Dallas Cowboys players and other issues surrounding the team. So let’s get right into it.
“Any chance of Trey Lance as quarterback and trading Dak for draft picks?”
(@coachlarkey11 via X)
Brandon: The hope for Trey Lance would be to develop into a great backup that could take over at some point for Cooper Rush. If Lance comes into camp looking like a Pro Bowler, he could take Rush’s job for 2024, but the coaching staff returning with Mike McCarthy at the helm feels confident in what Rush can provide in an emergency situation.
Remember, this offseason will be Lance’s first full one with the Cowboys, and he still has to acclimate himself in Oxnard. I don’t see the franchise trading Dak Prescott away for picks coming off an MVP regular season. You take that bet every time; it can carry over next year in the playoffs.
Mike: Myself and Paul from The Worlds Team podcast on Blogging The Boys got to interview Trey Lance’s trainer while in Dallas last year. He told us that Lance has come a long way since getting to Dallas in the offseason but is still a distance from ever overtaking Dak. The other part to this question is also the fact Dak has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he isn’t going anywhere next season. But the question should be would you want to trade an All-Pro and Pro Bowl quarterback that led the NFL in passing touchdowns last year? It’s understandable to feel this way after an emotional loss, but generally Dak had a very positive season.
“With Dan Quinn hired by another team, who do you think Dallas gets as the next defensive coordinator?”
(@bdw765 via X)
Brandon: I think Joe Whitt Jr. would be the obvious in-house candidate, given his familiarity with the defense and McCarthy as a member of his staff. But there are rumors he might leave with Quinn. However, a dark horse candidate no one thought of is former Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport spoke before Sunday’s Championship games about his name as a possibility if Quinn were to leave. Rivera would be the name to keep an eye on from outside the building.
Mike: That’s the big question. Everyone has their guy and favorite coach for the role, but what this team needs is a guy that can motivate this defense when things are down, but also chew them out when they do something wrong (like standing offsides pre-snap). They will obviously look internally first so guys like Al Harris, Joe Whitt Jr. or Aden Durde would have their two cents before the front office look outward.
“With the loss in performance from guys like Terence Steele and Michael Gallup after ACL injuries, are we expecting too much from Trevon Diggs and should the Cowboys be looking to draft a cornerback or resign a Stephon Gilmore?
(Hugh James via Facebook)
Brandon: I think expectations should be lowered for Diggs coming back from the serious injury. You bring up a great point, Hugh, with the revisionist history of how players have performed for Dallas the year after a torn ACL. Michael Gallup didn’t look like his old self until the playoff loss to Green Bay, which was over two years later.
Diggs should be eased into the starting role again, especially with the importance of breaking on the ball to play corner and relying on your knee strength. I could see a scenario where Stephon Gilmore or Jourdan Lewis are brought back to relieve the pressure.
DaRon Bland showed he could be moved to the inside or outside, so if the Cowboys re-sign either Lewis or Gilmore, it’ll flip wherever Bland plays.
Mike: One thing that all players say after they return the next season from an ACL is that they may be healthy enough to play but they never feel 100% to play. But how a player comes back from injury is always random and making the decision to bring Stephon Gilmore back shouldn’t be based on the forecast of Diggs’ recovery.
Gilmore has one big negative going against him to return which is his age. As cornerbacks get older the chance of injury gets higher. But to have him back would make a trio next season on Diggs, Gilmore and DaRon Bland which sounds insanely formidable with the fact all three are elite ball hawks.
Another factor to take into account when bringing Gilmore back is also Jourdan Lewis is an unrestricted free agent this upcoming season. So if they do choose to move on from Lewis they would need a guy like Gilmore to help fill the gap.