Friday, November 15, 2013
Kyle Wilber changing positions again?
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- With depth issues at linebacker a concern, the Dallas Cowboys are experimenting with Kyle Wilber.
He was drafted as a defensive end in the 3-4 scheme, but when the Cowboys changed alignments to a 4-3, he was asked to play defensive end. Wilber struggled at the position, but improved as the season progressed.
Now with injuries to starting linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant, the Cowboys need to bolster the unit.
"I think those discussions were serious," coach Jason Garrett said of moving Wilber. "Again, you’re trying to think about how players fit into a new style of defense. Went from a 3-4 where he was playing essentially an outside linebacker where he was on the line of scrimmage, to a 4-3 and then you say, 'OK, what’s his history? What’s he most comfortable doing? What are his best physical traits?' So we chose to play him at defensive end. But there was lot of discussion, because he does have some athletic ability to play off the ball. You see that when he runs down on kickoffs and plays throughout special teams. That was the discussion we had. We felt like those were the things he was best suited to do, putting his hand on the ground and playing defensive end, but he has some other things that allow him to be a little more flexible."
The projected starters at linebacker are Ernie Sims at middle and Bruce Carter on the weak side. Kyle Bosworth, Cameron Lawrence, DeVonte Holloman and Wilber are competing at the strongside spot.
Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said moving Wilber back to linebacker isn't set, but the Cowboys do have time to play around with the position before next week's game against the New York Giants.