Cowboys 2009 Training Camp Position Battles To Watch: Number 4

Written by theMBIIIeffect

At the fourth spot in our countdown of position battles leading up to the start of the 2009 Dallas Cowboys training camp is the Nickel Linebacker spot.

This spot was vacated after Kevin Burnett decided to switch teams and conferences to play in San Diego.

What his move left us with was one, big question in third and long situations.

Favorite: Bobby Carpenter

All the candidates for the nickel linebacker spot are missing something. Bobby Carpenter has some experience at this position, but he lacks in talent. Rookies Jason Williams and Stephen Hodge have the talent, but might not quite have the knowledge yet. So, unfortunately, I have to say that the spot is his to lose, which he just might do if he doesn’t improve.

Long Shot: Keith Brooking

The knock on this vet is that he’s no longer a 3-down linebacker. But nothing motivates an athlete like being told what he can and can’t do. It’s a long shot, but Brooking might feel like he has something to prove here.

Prediction: Stephen Hodge

A former safety at TCU, Hodge is already listed as a linebacker on the Cowboys’ website. The guy can do everything needed of a good nickel backer: he’s good in man coverage, zone coverage and he can blitz. Want proof? Check out this video of Hodge against Boise State. The man can do it all, but can he learn this position in training camp? We shall see.

Coming Tomorrow: Cornerback

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Tags: Bobby Carpenter Jason Williams Keith Brooking Kevin Burnett Stephen Hodge Training Camp

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