Mailbag: Nick Rob Josh
JAMES DAVIS JR – AKRON, OH: I know it’s really early, but are there players who were regular contributors last year who will have a tough time making the roster in 2010?
Rob: Wide receiver has been the most overanalyzed position this offseason, but for good reason. There’s a lot of competition, and unless they keep six receivers, it’s possible that Sam Hurd, Kevin Ogletree or Patrick Crayton won’t be here. Fullback is another position to keep an eye on, given the offense’s use of two-tight end sets and Deon Anderson’s pending legal issue. But he’s out here working hard.
Nick: That’s a good question though. Obviously, you look at guys like Patrick Crayton and maybe even Marcus Spears, who don’t have much room left on their contracts with a host of young players behind them. Still, I think Spears’ contract is friendly enough to keep him, considering the season he had last year. I wonder about Kevin Ogletree, who seems to be pegged as the clear-cut fourth receiver, but it’s way too early for that. Other than that, the core seems pretty much intact from last year.
COLLIN RYAN – GRAPEVINE, TX: I know it’s only OTAs and the offense is still integrating new plays and everything, but are you concerned at all about Tony Romo’s interceptions in these practices? We’ve been hearing about one or two every day.
Nick: No. I’d like to try and offer up a lot of reasoning, but frankly, the answer is no. I don’t think you should be worried at all about his interceptions from OTA. Now if they continue on into training camp, then maybe. Right now, I think it’s under control.
Rob: No, because you answered your own question. These OTA’s are basically teaching sessions, for the offense as well as the defense. The next time Romo runs that particular play in training camp, he’ll make a better read or throw. He’s also made some good throws that don’t get reported. One positive we’ve noticed is that he’s still securing the ball while moving around in the pocket.
MARC EWELL – NEW YORK, NY: What do you make of the reports of Marion Barber playing through a torn quad all last year? I haven’t heard that until just recently, but it would explain his lack of burst.
Nick: I don’t make anything out of that. To me, it’s nothing new than we thought all along. Yes, he was hurt and we knew that. Now, he looks healthy and for his sake, hopefully he stays healthy all year. He’s pretty good when he is 100 percent.
Josh: I just wonder, if he was so hurt, why the Cowboys still used him as their lead back for most of the season. We saw he was capable of playing, and he actually averaged more yards per carry this year than the year before. They all play hurt.
JOHN BERRY – SAN DIEGO, CA: Of the three running backs, who is the best receiver? Should he be the third-down back? And do you think Tashard Choice should stay as the Wildcat guy?
Nick: Barber is the best receiver but Felix has shown improvements in that area. I would like to see Felix as the third-back but his blocking isn’t as good as Barber. Other than speed, Barber pretty much is the best all-around back of the three guys.
Josh: I think Barber’s the best receiver and blocker, and I’ve said before I think he would be suited for that third-down role along with some other jobs. That would be a good niche for him. But, then again, you’re going to like the results if Felix gets the ball in space more often. That’s where his impact will be expanded this year, I think. I think any of the backs could run the Wildcat. It’s probably a tip off for Choice to be the only guy who they use.