When the Dallas Cowboys hired Monte Kiffin to run his Tampa-2 defense, everyone knew change was coming. There are the obvious changes like DeMarcus Ware moving to defensive end and possibly Anthony Spencer too, but maybe the biggest question for the defense is who is going to play the ’SAM,’ or strongside linebacker?
The candidates currently on the Cowboys are linebackers Alex Albright, Dan Connor, Kyle Wilber or Victor Butler. However, Butler is a free agent, and Connor is likely to be cut so that leaves Albright and Wilber. I really like what Albright gave to the Cowboys last year in terms of versatility, and his smarts for the game help him be in the right position most of the time, so I kind of think of him as Sean Lee-lite, but he may not have the strength for the position.
That leaves Kyle Wilber as the leading candidate right now. The Cowboys like his size, speed and strength and according to Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com, he’s the in-house leader to be the starter at strongside linebacker next seeason. He’ll have the off-season to learn the position, which will give the Cowboys plenty of time to evaluate if Wilber can handle the job.
If Wilber can win the job, the Cowboys will have a very young and fast linebacker core that would also include Sean Lee and Bruce Carter. The trio would make a great fit in the Cowboys new 4-3 defensive alignment, and the team could be on its way to improving the defense.
Kyle Wilber will be one of the biggest Cowboys to watch this off-season, his development could make the Dallas defense much better next year.
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