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Mailbag: Is Wilber Getting Lost In The Linebacker Shuffle?



In the midst of all the commotion that has surrounded Sean Lee, the return of Tyrone Crawford, the departure of D-Ware and ongoing talks of contracts, what has been going on with Kyle Wilber and what are the Cowboys plans for him? To me, he seems as though he getting lost in the shuffle.

David: Well, I'd have to disagree. Wilber has been the primary strong side linebacker in the limited amount of offseason work we've been able to see. He was impressive in spot duty last year, and it looks like he's going to get every opportunity to be the starting Sam linebacker. Obviously, he'll have to fend off some competition, but he certainly hasn't been forgotten about.

Rowan: He's not lost, and he could very well win the strong side linebacker job. The Cowboys are going to use a variety of looks while figuring out how best to cope with the loss of Lee. That could mean moving Holloman inside, which would give Wilber an even greater chance of earning the strong side starting spot. Even if Holloman stays on the outside, Wilber still has a chance. They liked what they saw from his at the end of last season.

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I may be mistaken, but didn't Bruce Carter play the best we've ever seen him play at MLB two years ago when Sean Lee went down? There is probably a lot more to it, but couldn't it be possible that he's more comfortable in the middle? He struggled the next year when moved back to outside. Maybe he's the best replacement for the inside.

David: It's a popular opinion these days, and you're not wrong. But Rod Marinelli said Monday that he thought it'd hinder Carter's progress to have to learn a new position in this scheme after struggling last year. On top of that, Carter is far and away the best athlete of this linebacker group, and the weak side position calls for extensive responsibility in coverage. I think they value his potential at that spot too much to move him. He just has to meet that potential.

Rowan: I don't think it mattered where Bruce Carter lined up last year – he didn't look like the same player that generated a lot of buzz and excitement the season prior. I just think he had a hard time adjusting to what was asked of him in the 4-3 defense. Maybe he eventually bumps back inside, but he'll be given every opportunity to earn the spot he's currently playing as an outside linebacker, and that makes sense given his combo of speed and strength compared to the other options.

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