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Mailbag: Finding Linebacker Depth? Missed Opportunity For A Trade?

With Anthony Hitchens' knee injury to sideline him eight weeks, who do you see stepping up to his spot? And what are your thoughts about claiming Ahmad Brooks from the waivers?

Bryan: Justin Durant, Jaylon Smith and Mark Nzeocha will likely play the spot. From what I remember about Ahmad Brooks is he's an outside linebacker, which doesn't help you. 

David:I'm a big fan of Justin Durant, but it's fair to admit that he's had injury issues of his own. I'm not going to be surprised if the Cowboys add a new linebacker after roster cuts, once they've had a chance to look at the league landscape. I doubt it'll be Ahmad Brooks, since he's more of a pass rusher than a middle linebacker.

Did Dallas miss out by not offering the Patriots a sixth or seventh-round pick for Kony Ealy? He seems like a good fit for our defense "by committee" rotation. We have several compensatory picks, but he was claimed by the Jets right after his release.

Bryan: Dallas put a claim in for him, but likely knew it wasn't going to work. They do have the extra picks but the Patriots might have been asking more than they were willing to offer. If Ealy plays well for the Jets then this might be looked at as a mistake. 

David:Honestly, I had the same thought process when I saw that Ealy had been cut. It seems like it would've been simple to throw New England a late-round pick, knowing that you'll be receiving several compensatory picks in the spring. The Cowboys liked Ealy enough to bring him on a pre-draft visit back in 2014, and they said they would've drafted him No. 47 overall had they not traded up for DeMarcus Lawrence. Perhaps the Patriots were asking for too much, or perhaps the Cowboys weren't inspired by what they saw on tape.

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