Grading The Dallas Cowboys Linebackers

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Bruce Carter

The Cowboys pretty much have to keep him at this point because they cannot afford another hole to fill. He is a remarkable athlete with physical tools that most people can only dream about. In other words, there really is no excuse for how bad he was in 2013. How bad was he? At one point he got benched, and he couldn’t understand why. What part of the Chargers film was he not watching? I am going to give him a D-. It would have been an F if he had not earned his job back.

Justin Durant was signed as a Free Agent to man the final starting spot on the LB Corps. He was fair at it, but for a long time many fans thought Ernie Sims was seriously outplaying him.  Durant ended up hurt and I suspect he is going to end up cut in a cap saving move this off season. He would have been cut if he had been able to cut it. For too much of 2013 he simply couldn’t cut it.  He was average at beast, and in every classroom in the world average is a C. He was as close to the bottom of the barrel as he was to the top of the heap. Just not good enough.

Ernie Sims replaced Carter for part of the season and Durant at times as well. He even replaced Sean Lee when he went down. Most would say this was evidence of him being an asset to the Defense. Until you see how badly the Defense as a whole played. Sims was nothing special at all. The brass ring was there for him three times and he never grasped it and held on for all he was worth. He was more Wally Pipp than he was Lou Gehrig. You don’t win with Wally Pipp’s and as such I won’t be shocked if Sims is not back next year. He is a Free Agent, and he just didn’t do enough to distinguish himself. I am giving him a C- and I feel that is kind of generous.

Kyle Wilber is either a man without a position on a 4-3 team or a potential key cog in the machine. He moved from 3-4 Outisde LB to 4-3 Defensive End, to 4-3 OLB. It wasn’t until the latter that he showed that he might be an answer in the future. Do not get me wrong, he still has a ways to go to be a difference maker, but he did a passable job at a non natural position. I’m merely saying he was a pleasant surprise instead of a liability. I’m going to give him a C+ and say that I believe he can improve on that with more experience.

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