IRVING, Texas -- Owner/general manager Jerry Jones stopped just short of saying Kyle Wilber had claimed the starting job at strong side linebacker.
However, Jones gushed about Wilber’s performance in two games filling in for Justin Durant, who has been sidelined by a hamstring strain.
“If you [are injured] and you’re the starter, then you’re supposed to be the starter when you get back," Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. "So much for that. I’m excited about Wilber as a player, as an asset for the Cowboys.”
Wilber, a fourth-round pick in 2012, moved from outside linebacker to defensive end when the Cowboys switched to a 4-3 scheme in the offseason. He was moved back to outside linebacker out of necessity after Sean Lee and Durant suffered hamstring strains in the Week 10 loss to the Saints and excelled in the Cowboys’ two wins since.
“He was just so impressive and he’s come such a long way,” Jones said. “We really might have him placed in a place where he can excel. He’s always had a lot of natural ability.”
Jones said Lee will play Monday night against the Chicago Bears. He certainly made it sound as if Wilber would line up next to Lee, regardless of Durant’s status.
“He’s going to be a big factor for us on defense,” Jones said of Wilber. “But I wouldn’t want to say who’s actually the starter.”