We are all aware of the season ending injury to Sean Lee. The star linebacker will be unavailable to an already poor Dallas Cowboys defense. In response to this, the Cowboys have done nothing. However, perhaps the Cowboys are making a statement. The theme of the offseason has been depth. The Cowboys made many smart cheap depth signings this offseason. This includes Terrell McClain, Amobi Okoye, and Jeremy Mincey. In the draft, the Cowboys added even more depth to their defense as seven out of nine picks were prospects at defensive positions. By not signing a replacement in free agency, the Cowboys are making a statement. They are confident in their own depth.
One player to watch out for is second year linebacker, DeVonte Holloman. I personally expect great things from Holloman. I’m sure the coaching staff will keep a close eye on him. Personally, I fell in love with him in preseason last year. While he may have been facing mediocre competition, he looked like a man amongst boys. He was always around the ball and showed playmaking ability. In the preseason he had two interceptions and a sack. This is pretty impressive when you consider he played a limited amount of time in 5 games.
At the end of the 2013 season, Holloman had the opportunity to start the final two games of the season. Against Washington, Holloman didn’t have much of an impact. However he did have 6 tackles, which further emphasize his ability to be around the ball. Against Philadelphia, Holloman really shined. He had 11 tackles and recorded 2 sacks. He was all around the field. He made a few rookie mistakes, but it was still an impressive performance.
I remember I wrote about Holloman during preseason, and he reminded me of Derrick Brooks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I doubt Holloman will play as well as Brooks, but I am excited to see him in an increased role.
With the injury to Sean Lee, this could be a chance for Holloman to emerge. Holloman was already fighting for a starting position before, and his chances got a bit better now. It is a shame that we lost a talented player in Sean Lee. However this just means the next man up has to step up. Will this be Holloman’s time to breakout?