Friday, November 29, 2013
Has Kyle Wilber found a spot?
By Todd Archer
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Might the Cowboys have finally found a position for Kyle Wilber?
He moved to strongside linebacker during the bye week because of a hamstring injury suffered by Justin Durant on Nov. 10 against the New Orleans Saints. The coaches moved Wilber from defensive end to linebacker out of necessity more than anything.
Against the New York Giants, Wilber had seven tackles after recording just 11 in the first 10 games. He also had his first tackle for loss in his first start. In Thursday's win against the Oakland Raiders, Wilber had four tackles, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery that led to a DeMarco Murray touchdown.
“We felt like Wilber was a good football player and we felt like he showed up on special teams and just was productive and showed up around the ball a lot,” coach Jason Garrett said.
But he is something of a tweener. He was drafted to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 and the coaches moved him to defensive end when the Cowboys moved to a 4-3. Wilber was given plenty of chances to earn playing time with all of the injuries on the defensive line but could not grasp a job.
Maybe the Cowboys got a little lucky with a position finding Wilber rather than him finding a position.
“I think he played 25 plays in the game last week against the Giants and had 24 production points,” Garrett said. “That doesn't mean anything to you guys but that was a really positive performance. He was around the ball a lot ... He is certainly still learning the position. He doesn't always pull the trigger as quick as he needs to just because he hasn't seen the looks as much, but he is playing better and better.”
And he at least might force the Cowboys to make a decision when Durant is healthy.