We were all locked in on which veteran the Dallas Cowboys would bring in at the linebacker position to potentially replace Sean Lee, but whoever you guessed was apparently wrong. The Cowboys decided to find their answer at the middle linebacker position from within the organization.
This is big for quite a few young players, and it probably has lit some fires under a few players as well with OTAs rolling on.
There are really three players that stand out as replacements, and two of them, DeVonte Holloman and Anthony Hitchens, I mentioned in one of my previous articles. The third option is Justin Durant, and he’d be considered the “veteran” of the group. The plan for the three players? Give them some run, see who performs the best, and make the decision from there.
Let’s take a look at each player though, and give some insight.
Holloman is actually my favorite choice for the job. He’s coming into his second year in the league, and I think he could be poised to become that breakout player that everyone is hoping to find on the Cowboys’ defense. He’s only 23 years old, and he had 26 combined tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery in limited time over nine games.
Hitchens is interesting in his own right, but he’s openly stated that he knows he’s not ready to be replace Lee. That doesn’t make me feel incredibly confident, but in all honesty, what rookie would feel like they’re ready to replace the type of production that a guy like Lee brings to the table? Hitchens will get plenty of time this year, but I don’t think he starts.
Durant is interesting for a few reasons. He’s 28, so he’s seen the field plenty throughout his seven-year career. He’s had some solid years, but he’s really just a strong tackler and won’t replace the interception/fumble production that Lee had the potential to bring.
In the end, this should be a fun battle to watch, but I have some confidence in Holloman—I think he’ll get the job when all is said and done.