clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Garrett On Linebackers: "We've Just Got To Figure Out Who The Best Three Guys Are"

With the loss of leader Sean Lee, the Dallas LB corps has been left in a state of flux which the coaching staff has been trying to resolve.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As they should, the Dallas Cowboys defensive coaches are mixing things up and trying to find the right combination of players to make things work. One area of focus is at linebacker where the team has experienced issues since moving to the 4-3 scheme last season. Outside of the unit's undisputed leader, Sean Lee, this has been an area of great concern. With Lee being lost for the season during off-season activities, a new state of urgency exists for LB coach Matt Eberflus and his charges. Head coach Jason Garrett recently addressed the concern.

"There are a lot of ways to do this and we've just got to figure out who the best three guys are and who deserves the playing time. We'll make those decisions as we go." - Jason Garrett

Among the players who have been impressing the Dallas coaching staff are Justin Durant at middle linebacker and Kyle Wilber, who is manning the strong side for the Dallas ones. Both men are doing their jobs well, but Rolando McClain is beginning to see more time taking MLB snaps with the Cowboys starting unit which pushes Durant over to the weakside slot. This seems to be the starting trio that the staff would love to see take the field when the Boys open the 2014 season.

Weakside linebacker Bruce Carter appears to be something of the odd man out in this situation. If the Cowboys are able to get McClain into the mix like they want, Carter will become more of a rotational and special teams guy in Dallas. This is a far cry from what was expected from him just a short year ago when he was being hailed as the next great Tampa-2 weakside linebacker. Still, according to Garrett, Carter will get his chances to prove himself.

"Bruce has done some good things. I think Bruce like the other guys needs to be a consistent player day in and day out. I think he is getting more comfortable in the scheme and he is certainly in the mix of it. He has got a lot of ability. He's got a lot of strengths. We have been using him as a rusher a bit more. He does that well. Again, you try to figure what the guys do well and who the best ones are and put them out there and give them a chance to do what they do best. Be good at things that happen a lot in games. It's our job to make sure to give them a chance to do those things."

There seems to be a clear pecking order shaping up. The team would love to go with Durant-McClain-Wilber as the starting trio, but a lot of that is going to revolve around how quickly Rolando McClain can work himself back into form. The guys on the outside looking in are rookie Anthony Hitchens and second-year player DeVonte Holloman, along with the previously mentioned Carter, have their work cut out for them if they want to see significant snaps on defense come game day.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys