Jean-Jacques Taylor, Cowboys insider for NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth (KXAS-TV) and host of J Dub City 9 a.m.-1 p.m. weekdays on 103.3 KESN-FM, answered your questions about the Cowboys in a live chat recently. Here are some highlights:
Who's most caught your eye at rookie minicamp? Any surprises?
JJT: They spent rookie camp in shorts and T-shirts. It was worse than the traditional Underwear Olympics. But if you asked me who impressed me the most it was passing game defensive coordinator Kris Richard. He has a presence about him. He'd speaks with conviction and I don't know if he can coach or not, but I was ready to suit up. If he can get Byron Jones and the rest of the youngsters in the secondary to play to their pedigree then he'll be a big-time addition
Does Zeke not making headlines this offseason (knocks on wood) show that he's maturing as a player?
JJT: I talked to Zeke briefly on Saturday and he was cool. He's had a terrific offseason according to all of the folks I've talked to, but there's a month off between the last minicamp and the start of training camp. Maturity is shown but actions -- not words -- but he's doing a lot of the right things.
How much does missing out on Terrell McClain hurt the D-line?
JJT: Let's be clear: Terrell McClain will not be the difference between making or missing the playoffs. He would've been a good addition to the Cowboys' DL rotation, and he could've helped. But he wasn't worth the $4M he reportedly got from Atlanta -- not for a position the Cowboys don't place a high value on.
Joel Lanning makes for a really interesting story, but is he NFL material for anything other than special teams?
JJT: For a dude who was a QB at Iowa State who moved to LB and played well, I'd say ST was good enough. Let's let him make the team first. After all, he was an underrated free agent, before we stick some expectations on him.
Have you started to figure out how the NFC ladder will look next season?
JJT: Not really. I mean we haven't even gone to training camp yet, so in a lot of ways we don't even know who's on the team. Plus, you know I think Earl Thomas will be added to the roster sometime during training camp, which would change whatever you think the Cowboys will do this season. There's time for that down the road, but right now I'd go Philly, Dallas, NYG and Washington.