Dallas Cowboys: Erin Henderson

Cowboys' Twitter mailbag, Part 2

May, 31, 2014
May 31
12:00
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Part 2 of the Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:

If you want to read Part 1 of the mailbag, click here.

Away we go:

Lee replacement plan in-house for now

May, 29, 2014
May 29
9:00
AM ET
video

IRVING, Texas -- While the Dallas Cowboys have not officially said so, Sean Lee tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Tuesday, according to sources, and the defense will be without its best player.

The Cowboys have yet to use the bat signal to call all unemployed middle linebackers.

The current plan is to go with what is on the roster.

They have DeVonte Holloman, who started the final two games of last season at middle linebacker after Lee suffered a neck injury. They have Justin Durant, who started one game in Lee's absence last season. They have rookie Anthony Hitchens, their fourth-round pick.

With eight more organized team activities, followed by six practices during a three-day minicamp next month, the Cowboys will soon have a better idea about where they stand regarding a replacement for Lee.

After that, perhaps they will look off campus for help.

Veterans like Jonathan Vilma, Erin Henderson and Pat Angerer have been mentioned. Even Brian Urlacher's name has come up.

Urlacher's connection to Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli makes it interesting, but would it be appetizing? Urlacher did not play last year. He turned 36 this week. His knee gave him issues in his final seasons with the Bears.

Last year the Cowboys signed guard Brian Waters before the season started. He did not play in 2012 but managed to play in seven games and start five before a torn biceps ended his season. He was 36 then.

Often, past success outweighs present ability when fans yearn for a player to be signed. Urlacher is not the same player who dominated the NFL for years, just as Waters was not the same player last year that he was earlier in his career. He was solid and he helped Dallas, but he was not the same Pro Bowl player.

Vilma and Angerer have health issues. The Minnesota Vikings released Henderson in January after a DUI arrest.

At the end of May, there are no magic solutions to replace Lee.

The Cowboys will see if they can get by with Holloman, Hitchens or Durant, who did not take part in Tuesday’s practice because of an undisclosed injury. They will study the rosters of the other teams hard over the course of the summer to see if they can find (or need) an upgrade.

The players mentioned today -- Urlacher, Angerer, Henderson and Vilma -- are likely to be available when training camp begins or even later.

If the Cowboys need them in July or August or September, they can make the call.

A look at Jason Witten's touchdown

November, 4, 2013
11/04/13
4:14
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- How important is play-action to an offense? Look at Jason Witten’s touchdown in the third quarter of the Dallas Cowboys27-23 win against the Minnesota Vikings.

Witten
In the first two quarters, the Cowboys ran the ball just five times for 31 yards. On their second play of the third quarter, Lance Dunbar picked up two yards.

So the Cowboys were not exactly threatening the run before Witten’s touchdown, but on first and 10 from the Vikings 26, Minnesota bit on Tony Romo’s play fake on a delay draw to DeMarco Murray.

It wasn’t just the play fake, however, that forced linebacker Erin Henderson to crowd the line of scrimmage. It was the pull action by left guard Ronald Leary that sold the play. As Henderson came up, Witten ran right by him down the middle of the field.

Romo fed Witten the ball in the middle of the void between the Vikings’ safeties and the tight end had the 48th touchdown of his career.

So once again, how important is play-action? Pretty important.

Imagine if the Cowboys actually tried to run the ball at least a little against the Vikings.

SPONSORED HEADLINES