With Sean Lee headed to injured reserve the Dallas Cowboys put out a call for help at linebacker.
The call was answered by former Detroit Lions linebacker and 2006 draft, 9th overall pick Ernie Sims.
“I’m young. I’m healthy. I know I can play in the NFL,” Sims said after his first practice with the team.
Sims widely considered a bust, is an undersized outside linebacker who will have to prove he can play inside linebacker in the Cowboys 3-4 scheme.
“I’m just real happy the Dallas Cowboys gave me an opportunity to come in and prove myself,” Sims said. “I feel like I’ve got something to prove.”
Rightfully so, it’s not every day that you find former 9th overall picks in free agency unless they haven’t succeeded and Sims is correct; he has a lot to prove.
Last year as a member of the Colts, Sims had four starts and was credited with 32 tackles in 13 games. As a member of the Eagles the previous year he had 55 tackles and two sacks.
The addition of Sims is not intended to replace Lee, but rather to add veteran know-how to a position lacking depth. I expect that the Cowboys will use Sims mainly in special teams and some of the pass coverage packages.
The task of replacing Lee will be left to Bruce Carter and Dan Connor. However, that’s easier said than done.
Through six games, Lee led the team with 77 tackles, which translates to 12.8 tackles a game, so let’s just say about 13 tackles a game. When put into perspective, Lee was on pace for about 205 tackles on the season.
Carter and Connor have combined for 43 tackles this season, and if the Cowboys want to keep one of the best defenses in the league, it is imperative that both Carter and Connor take their level of play to another level.
Follow Jesus Flores on Twitter @SSgtFlo1