by Dallas Cowboys Mailbag, David Helman & Jonny Auping
So, knowing we will have to face the Eagles twice a year every year, are we better off having to face Jalen Hurts (assuming he will be their QB1), or Carson Wentz? Did we dodge a bullet or vice versa with the trade? Other way to look at it, fast forward 10 years from now and which of these two will have had a better career? - DAVID NYSTROM / LOUDON, TN
David: I think the Eagles are absolutely crazy if they go into 2021 with Jalen Hurts as their only true option at quarterback. They're picking No. 6 in the draft order, and that means they should probably make a run at a rookie in this draft class. To answer your question more directly: we all know Wentz was bad this year, but we also know he can be very good in the right situation. I'm not going to be surprised if Wentz re-discovers his old self in Indianapolis. If that happens, Cowboys fans will be very happy he's out of the division.
Jonny: I'm not sure who will have a better career between the two quarterbacks. Wentz has had just such a strange career up to this point, and Hurts is talented but still so young. But to get to the original part of your question, it just didn't feel like Wentz was going to find his old self while still on the Eagles, so I'm not sure this is a move that's resulting in a huge sigh of relief from the Cowboys. If they're being honest, I bet the Cowboys' defensive line wouldn't mind a couple more shots at chasing down Wentz while he holds on to the ball a few seconds too long.
Hi my question/dilemma is this. I feel like Dallas should get Dak signed, but I feel like paying him over $40 million a year will prohibit them from getting quality defensive players. Defense is top priority. My question is: Do you feel like Dallas can both sign Dak and build a quality defense, or do you feel like they should try to move up, draft a rookie, and build the defense? - ARLEIGH DUFF / CROMWELL, CT
David: If they sign Dak, then the key pieces of their offense will be in place for the next 2-4 years. That frees them up to spend the vast majority of their resources improving the defense. It's going to hinge on them drafting quality defenders. If they're going to invest that heavily in Dak, they have no choice but to offset that cost with good, cheap draft picks on defense. Their track record with drafting defenders suggests that it's going to be challenging, but it's certainly doable.
Jonny: I get your point, and it's valid, but it also just sort of comes down to the fact that you simply can't have everything. Does the prospect of having Dak and then building a great defense with limited cap space seem like a guarantee? Of course not. But do I think the prospect of drafting a quarterback who ends up being as good as Dak and then building a great defense with more cap flexibility is any more likely? Definitely not. If you draft a top 10 quarterback who ends up being Mitchell Trubisky or Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold or Jarod Goff you better hope you know how to build the best defense the Cowboys have ever seen if you want to compete for a Super Bowl.