The writers of DallasCowboys.com rank the Cowboys linebackers in camp.
OXNARD, Calif.** – One of the most common questions we hear at training camp usually starts with the sentence "what are you seeing out of …"
And then you just fill in the blank. So after one week of training camp here in sunny California, the Cowboys have yet to do an official depth chart. So the writers of DallasCowboys.com will unveil its position rankings each day.
And this isn't an exact list of the top performers out here in camp, but how they stack up on a would-be depth chart – at least in the eyes of the staff writers.
In our fourth piece, we consider the logjam at linebacker after the loss of Sean Lee:
Bruce Carter (47)
Justin Durant (42)
Kyle Wilber (41)
Rolando McClain (35)
DeVonte Holloman (34)
Anthony Hitchens (28)
Cameron Lawrence (23)
Joe Windsor (15)
Will Smith (15)
Orie Lemon (14)
Keith Smith (12)
Dontavis Sapp (10)
Bryan Broaddus: I have been super critical of Justin Durant but he has played better than I have been willing to give him credit for but I still think that Rolando McClain or DeVonte Holloman is better at the Mike spot going forward. Bruce Carter appears to have benefited being able to work behind that three technique giving him more freedom to run to the ball. Carter has also improved in his pass coverage which caused a great deal of his problems in 2013. If you are looking for a linebacker that has shown the best consistency from one season to the next, Kyle Wilber is that guy in a group that is looking for that type of player.
Nick Eatman: This was the first rankings list we've done where the No. 1 guy wasn't a slam dunk. I nearly went with Durant because I feel like he's had a better camp. Then again, the Cowboys did get a middle linebacker off the street in McClain to possibly replace him. The chances of Carter not being here hasn't been talked about so he's my vote for No. 1. Wilber is starting to turn a lot of heads and seems like a viable pick for the SAM spot. I put Lawrence up there in the mix because he's currently on all special teams units. Of the longshots, Windsor has looked pretty good but Smith will get plenty of chances because of his draft status. [embedded_ad]
David Helman: It's so hard to judge the linebackers, because they play such a physical position and full-on contact is discouraged at training camp practices. That said, I think Durant has shown up more often in terms of being on the ball and being in position to make plays. That's not a knock against Carter as it is a compliment to Durant. Jerry Jones name-dropped Wilber specifically as one of the standouts from this camp, so he deserves mention. At this point, I would have hoped to see more out of Will Smith, but his groin injury has limited him so far. It will be interesting to see how Rolando McClain improves with more acclimation to the team.
Rowan Kavner: Carter has to be the man in this group, and the team's going to struggle if he doesn't meet those expectations. After Carter, the depth chart's a bit of a jumble, because both other spots are open for backups to take if they seize the opportunity. As it stands, Justin Durant and Kyle Wilber will round out the other two spots. I think a strong preseason from Holloman or McClain could change that, though. Hitchens probably needs more time, and Will Smith needs to get healthy before anything can be analyzed from the promising rookie.