In the aftermath of linebacker Sean Lee’s season ending torn ACL, the Dallas Cowboys have been left with little more than hope that a linebacker on their roster can fill the void left by Lee. At this point the leading candidates to fill the middle linebacker spot seem to be linebackers DeVonte Holloman, Justin Durant, and Anthony Hitchens.
The resumes of these three replacement options are bleak. Holloman only has two career starts under his belt. Durant has primarily played outside linebacker throughout his career. Finally, Hitchens was drafted in the fourth round two months ago, and has yet to play a down in the NFL.
To get hasty with assumptions regarding the level of effectiveness any of these replacements can offer is probably wrong. At the same time, it would also be wrong to think that these players can have the impact of Lee, who is one of the best middle linebackers in the league when healthy.
While the Cowboys have limited options besides replacing Lee with an in-house candidate, that probably does not keep team officials from dreaming about acquiring an upper echelon talent to replace Lee, and to pair with him when he becomes healthy. While the likelihood of acquiring an established, game-changing linebacker is less likely than Lee returning to play this season, it is never unexciting to explore the options.