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DC: Eberflus: Major Competition At Linebacker Spots

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by jobberone, May 20, 2014.

  1. jobberone

    jobberone Right turn Clyde Staff Member

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    Eberflus: Major Competition At Linebacker Spots

    [IMG]David Helman DallasCowboys.com

    [IMG]

    IRVING, Texas – A year ago at this time, the Cowboys’ linebacker corps seemed set in stone. With OTAs a week away and training camp on the horizon, that’s anything but the case in 2014.

    A plethora of injuries, not to mention some shaky performances, decimated the position last season. Injuries to Sean Lee, Justin Durant and Ernie Sims forced the Cowboys to use their fourth option, DeVonte Holloman, at middle linebacker by the end of 2013, while converted defensive end Kyle Wilber spent a good chunk of the year in the strong side spot.

    The problem was enough to prompt the Cowboys to draft two linebackers, including fourth-round pick Anthony Hitchens as a potential replacement for Lee, should the same circumstances befall them again.

    “We lost our first one, second one, third one, had to play with our fourth one, which was Holloman, last year,” said linebackers coach Matt Eberflus during the team’s rookie minicamp. “So that was really the issue. Durant was always the backup, and Ernie after him and Holloman after him.”

    Even if all the Cowboys’ linebackers can stay healthy, it’s doubtful the pecking order will remain as clear-cut this season. Lee’s neck injury in the second half of the season caused him to miss a large portion of the season for the second year in a row, while Bruce Carter failed to impress in what was expected to be a breakout year – a puzzling development.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/a...er-Spots/03078d61-8b66-4ee3-8526-b32f9025f590
  2. Bullflop

    Bullflop Well-Known Member

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    There's no question there were enough inadequate performances last year to go around -- and then some.There should be enough backup help in tow for the ailing positions to have troops available for relief if a repeat seems imminent. Hopefully, those ailing and those playing just plain poorly will get things turned around in 2014. By the sound of things, Marinelli and the rest of the staff won't be taking any lame excuses for anything less than acceptable. It's high time for the entire team to do whatever it takes to turn things around. Better conditioning by several players should help in that regard or there'll be changes in the lineup to be attended to..
  3. jobberone

    jobberone Right turn Clyde Staff Member

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    I'm going to do my Health Dance soon. That should help a lot.
    Screw The Hall likes this.
  4. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Hmm....
  5. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    I will blame you if ANY injuries occur. It will indicate that you didn't dance enough. Don't sit down to read this...keep dancing.
    dogunwo, Zimmy Lives and jobberone like this.
  6. jobberone

    jobberone Right turn Clyde Staff Member

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    I like Durant. He might be able to play the Will. They need to find a big safety that can add a few to play that spot if possible. JMO. Carter should be able to. :(
  7. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    When I look at hitchens, I don't consider him a pick to replace Sean Lee. I see him as a replacement to Ernie Sims.
  8. jobberone

    jobberone Right turn Clyde Staff Member

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    I'll dance until I drop. Shouldn't take but a few minutes. :)
    Seven likes this.
  9. jobberone

    jobberone Right turn Clyde Staff Member

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    I don't know what he's capable of. I'm not certain he can play in the NFL. Most of the time he looks ok; others he looks pretty good.

    You don't want him playing a lot this year. That's not a good sign IMO.
  10. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Pace yourself...you'll be needed throughout training camp and the season.
    jobberone likes this.
  11. jobberone

    jobberone Right turn Clyde Staff Member

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    LOL. I'll get @BrAinPaiNt to help. I really want to see that. :D
  12. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    Could you send some rain this way while you're at it?
    jobberone likes this.
  13. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    I don't have high hopes of a 4th rounder being a legitimate starter. There is no history to support that they should be - when you find one, that is a gem, not a normal situation. I see a player who will provide immediate value on special teams, and could develop into depth for a position of need when it comes to depth.

    I agree - I hope I don't see him play any meaningful time, because that would mean just another injury to Lee. But I doubt he could be any more lost than Ernie Sims was last year.

    Edit: By the way, there was a lot of conversation about whether he was a reach or not. He was most definitely a reach. But that doesn't matter. What matters is whether the team you field has the ability to win and withstand injuries throughout the year. If Hitchens provides that, then where he was taken in the draft is not even an afterthought.
    visionary and jobberone like this.
  14. jobberone

    jobberone Right turn Clyde Staff Member

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    Agreed.
  15. LittleD

    LittleD Active Member

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    Pardon me but the only thing Durant can play is the Wii.
    He might get better with Madden but not with the Boys.... IMVHO!!!
  16. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    Durant's a bit underrated. He did a nice job at MLB for a bit when Lee went down. I think he's too expensive and not quite good enough to stick, though, if the other prospective starters stay healthy.

    I don't like our LBs very much across the board.
    Zimmy Lives likes this.
  17. Zimmy Lives

    Zimmy Lives Well-Known Member

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    Me neither. Too many question marks.

    I do think "Hitch" and Will "MIB" Smith can be productive LBs but I doubt either will get jiggy with it.
  18. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Hitchens is the opposite of Ernie Sims. Sims is a freak athlete but can't or won't play assignment sound football.
    MichaelWinicki likes this.
  19. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    I agree and that's why I think they took him. The last thing the defense can afford is players who don't understand their assignments. It's killer. Hitchens doesn't have the physical gifts, but he isn't going to get them beat mentally either.
  20. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    Carter and Holloman both have potential, but nothing I'm comfortable counting on. Not thrilled with any of the back roster players. Love Lee and like Durant ok, but Lee get injured and Durant I think they're looking for an excuse to get off the team.

    I'd have been happier with a guy in the fourth I thought had a ton of upside. I know the team likes Hitchens, and I obviously hope they're right, but, yeah, not a lot of jiggy there.

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