Does the Andy Dalton signing give any more leverage to Dallas when negotiating with Dak?
Mason: I do not believe that this Andy Dalton signing is anything more than the Cowboys getting a great backup quarterback in case something were to happen to Dak Prescott. This should not add any leverage for the Cowboys as it is only a one year deal. However, this was still a smart move for Dallas to make as if the worst-case scenario happens and Dak was to get injured, it would not put the team in too deep of a hole since Dalton was a quality quarterback in Cincinnati. In terms of what it does for contract talks for Prescott, right now it does not affect a thing.
Juwan: I believe it does. Not because Andy Dalton is here to replace Dak, but because you have a proven quarterback who you’re comfortable with helping install a new offense with this group should Dak choose to extend his holdout into training camp. You’re also vastly more comfortable with a vested veteran running the unit week 1 rather than a Cooper Rush who doesn’t have a career start under his belt. Dalton isn’t here to replace Prescott, but the rush to get Dak signed long-term isn’t immediate as if Rush was still QB2.
It seems the consensus is the Cowboys won their draft, but is there a position group on the roster that still concerns you?
Mason: The position I still have the most questions about is at right end. There are still question marks surrounding Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory, while I think they are great players I do not think you can be real confident in relying on them right now. They did draft rookie Bradlee Anae with their fifth-round pick, he looks like he has potential but how much faith can you put into a fifth-round pick this early? Everson Griffen is still available in free agency and is a proven player at that position. It will be interesting to see if the Cowboys have the same questions and choose to sign him, or instead trust in who they have now.
Juwan: Oddly enough I still have to see this defensive line perform. DeMarcus Lawrence is coming off a down year where he didn’t even crack the top two on the team in sacks. While Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy signify a needed philosophy change, they both contributed to Carolina having one of the worst run defenses in the league. And, of course, there’s little evidence to believe Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory will be present for a full 16 games. The depth is there. But will the production match the talent on paper?
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