Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Cowboys inside linebacker questions
By Dan Graziano
Yes, I'm leaning hard on ESPNDallas.com's position-by-position series. It's there every day. It's good. It's got Bryan Broaddus. What's not to like? Today's installment is on inside linebackers, which for the Dallas Cowboys in 2012 looks like it could be Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and... just about anybody who wants to try out. Per Bryan, in Calvin Watkins' story:
The problem for the Cowboys will not be Carter and Lee, but who is behind them? Orie Lemon is a college free agent who spent the year on the practice squad but other than him, that is it. This front office can not afford to miss on picks like it did with players like Jason Williams. Look for them to be aggressive not only in the draft but in college free agency, which is an area where they usually find a player or two because depth here is beyond thin.
The Cowboys have to believe Lee is a long-term answer in the middle. He was a terror in 2011 before he got hurt, and he played very well even after he returned from the hand injury. Carter is a guy from whom we didn't see enough in 2011 to make any real conclusions, but it looks as though the starting job along with Lee is his for the taking. No one expects the Cowboys to bring back Bradie James or Keith Brooking, and inside linebacker isn't a high-priority area for the draft or free agency with all of the needs they have in the secondary, the pass rush and on the offensive line. Carter's going to have to play well, or they're going to have trouble patching this unit together.