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Mailbag: How Much Can Linehan Help Dez Bryant?

Posted Jan 31, 2014


TYLER CURRANS
MURRAY, NE
With all the talk of the change on the coaching staff, I really like the idea of Scott Linehan being there. He did a lot with moving Calvin Johnson all over the field, which obviously made him even more successful. Is it fair to say the same could happen with Dez?
 
Rowan: The Megatron/Dez comparisons have already begun and are going to start flying all over the place with the latest move. I think Calvin Johnson’s in an echelon of his own right now compared to any other players in the league at his position, but I do think the move for Linehan could help out Dez more than anyone. Linehan knew who his star on the outside was and he found ways to get him the football. I’d be surprised to see games where Dez gets just a couple targets based off of matchups.
 
David: I decided to do some very basic, unscientific research for this question. In the past two seasons, Dez has been targeted fewer than eight times in 11 of 32 games. It happened seven times in 2012 and four times in 2013. In the same span, Johnson was targeted fewer than eight times on just three occasions – once in 2012 and twice in 2013. Megatron has averaged 12 targets per game the past two seasons, compared to Bryant’s nine. Clearly, Linehan knows how to get his playmaker the ball, and I think Dez stands to benefit tremendously.
 
ZACH GILCREASE
WATAUGA, TX
I understand that we must improve the pass rush to even be an acceptable defense, but are y'all at all okay with Jeff Heath taking any snaps on defense next year?
 
Rowan:If he’s taking snaps on defense, that means either the safety position wasn’t addressed in full or a lot of injuries occurred again. I’m
fine with Heath being someone to provide depth at the position and serving as a backup safety while contributing on special teams. I don’t think they go into the year planning on him being a starter at the position unless he absolutely dominates at camp.
 
David: I’ve been saying all  along: I’d like to see the Cowboys’ pass rush improve before I close the book on a pair of rookie safeties. Ideally, you’d prefer your third round pick, J.J. Wilcox, to get the nod. But if Heath wins the starting spot, I’m willing to give him another opportunity before I assume he can’t play. Heath and Wilcox were both put into a pretty unfair situation last year, and while they certainly weren’t impressive, it seems early to write them off as lost causes after one year.
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