The Cowboys weekend mailbag has returned. Let's get to it. Q: Judging by what we've seen and expect from Bruce Carter and Sean Lee, who do the Cowboys covet more, long-term wise, of the two skilled linebackers. TBro (Parts unknown) A: I would say both. Lee is the signal caller and the main tackler, but Carter is just as important. Lee's contract is up at the end of this season and the Cowboys will extend him long-term. Carter's deal is up after 2014 and the Cowboys will also give him a long-term contract.
We're going to play the "What If" game for a moment. The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer, costing them $10.6 million. If the Cowboys had let Spencer test the free agent market, that's at least 10.6 million that could have gone to another free agent. There's no telling how much Spencer would have gotten on the market, he would have been the best pass rusher out there coming off a career-high 11 sack season. If the Cowboys had let Spencer walk there are two players who might have signed with the Cowboys.
When the Cowboys open training camp in late July, the competition at the guard spots should be good. The projected starters are Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau. However, David Arkin, Kevin Kowalski and Ronald Leary could win a starting job or a key backup role in 2013. First-round pick Travis Frederick is competing against Phil Costa and Ryan Cook for the starting job at center. Frederick has position flexibility to move to guard, but at least right now, the goal is to make him a starter at center Livings looked as if he lost a few pounds when he was spotted walking through the Valley Ranch complex during the rookie minicamp last week.
The Dallas Cowboys released cornerback Dustin Harris and signed free-agent cornerback Malik James on Friday. James played in four games for Langston University before a season-ending injury. He had six tackles and two interceptions. James played at Cincinnati and Nevada before transferring to Langston.