Welcome to the Wednesday Mailbag. We are hoping to do this every week throughout the summer, as there will undoubtedly be much to talk about. You can send your questions to us on Twitter, Facebook, or email them to me.
Questions are not limited to just football, but this week’s mailbag was dominated with questions about the 2017 Cowboys.
Let’s get started.
@CowboysRFF Does Washington's yards per catch increase or decrease this season?— Colin Johnston (@ColinDJohnston) May 17, 2017
Cade: This is an interesting proposition. Washington hauled in 71 passes for 1380 yards, adding up to a staggering 19.4 YPC average. That got him the 11th-best YPC average in the country. To put that in context, Justin Blackmon averaged just 12.6 YPC in 2011.
Last season, Washington was the premier receiver in an already-talented group. This season, he’ll have some competition and will also see the ball spread around more. Tyron Johnson and Marcell Ateman will demand more catches, but also more attention from opposing defenses. In my opinion, I think Washington’s YPC number drops this season, only because of the players around him this season. That being said, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him surpass last season’s numbers.
@CowboysRFF Does Henson get one more O-line commit in the 2018 class?— dan tero (@terodan) May 17, 2017
Cade: He’s already added four in the 2018 class, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try for one more. Considering last season’s recruiting class didn’t feature a high school offensive lineman, I think he swings for at least one more.
@CowboysRFF Does mason end career in the top 20 all time for passing yards?— Bryan Metcalf (@BryanJMetcalf) May 17, 2017
Cade: If Rudolph builds on his two year passing totals of 3,777 in 2015 and 4,091 in 2016, I’d expect him to crack that list. He would need 3,977 yards in 2017-18 to surpass Ryan Lindley from San Diego State, who is 20th all-time. With all of the weapons he’s got around him, I think he has his best season yet, and cracks the top 20.
@CowboysRFF Which do you think is more likely okst vs ksu or Ou making playoffs— Evan McDaniel (@EvanEtm) May 17, 2017
Cade: I think as of right now, you’ve got to give the nod to OU. As much as it pains me to say, it’s been OU’s league for the last few years. Until Oklahoma State knocks off OU on a regular basis, you’ve got to be realistic. I think OSU has the best team in the conference this season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much in Bedlam. I wouldn’t be surprised to see OSU run the table and get in the playoff, but i’d be even less surprised to see OU do it.
@CowboysRFF in your opinion, what should the Big 12 do about Baylor?— Aaron McBride (@Atmcbride) May 17, 2017
Cade: Based on today’s latest news, I think the Big 12 has to start thinking about disciplinary actions for Baylor. That being said, Baylor has made attempts to rehabilitate its image. They fired Art Briles and the majority of the coaching staff is no longer in Waco, Ken Starr is no longer employed by the University, and they’ve made efforts on campus to promote awareness. But at some point, the Big 12 has to draw the line.
Self-imposed punishment can’t always be the answer, and I believe that route has become a cop-out for many schools who have broken the rules. Regarding Baylor, it’s become one of the most pervasive scandals in recent memory regarding a University. Something should be done about it. What that “something” is, I’m not sure.
@CowboysRFF When comparing 17 v. 11 doesn't it really come down to the OL? It's hard to know how good Mason could be behind the OL Weeden had.— chris baker (@Cbaker4415) May 17, 2017
Cade: I think it absolutely comes down to the offensive line. In 2011, the defense had pretty glaring depth issues on the defensive line. That was mitigated by an experienced linebacker and secondary group. In 2017, the inverse will be true on defense; the defensive line should be awesome, and the secondary might struggle.
The offensive line should be much-improved from last season, but I’m not sure it will be as good as it was in 2011. Part of what made Weeden so good was the offensive line, but he also made poor decisions at times throwing the football. With Rudolph, I think his ability to protect the football could help with what will be an improved-but-not-fixed offensive line in 2017.
Thanks for submitting your mailbag questions. You can send more to me on Twitter throughout the week.