The Dallas Cowboys will be looking to replace one of the better linebackers in Damien Wilson. The team could possibly look to free agency for answers.
The Dallas Cowboys will be down another player as linebacker Damien Wilson has been arrested on charges that include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. It is clear to see that Wilson will not get out of this situation clean.
Even if all charges are dropped, he will likely face a suspension from the NFL and that would be a pretty big blow to the depth behind star linebacker, Sean Lee. The team must add some new talent at the position and that could mean looking at some free agent options.
The Dallas Cowboys will be looking for a new linebacker to replace Wilson and that should not be that difficult. First, the team could look inward and attempt to replace Wilson with Kyle Wilber, Kennan Gilchrist, or Darnell Leslie.
Wilber is easily the best option here however past him there is a lot of uncertainty. One thing is for sure, the Cowboys do not want to rush Jaylon Smith onto the field even if it means gaining the ability to move some starters around.
The team could potentially add two free agent linebackers as it is seemingly their best option. There are a ton of talented veterans who are available, whose presence could mean more to the team than ever before.
The free agents available to come in are a lot better than those found at other positions. There are several veterans who could come in and do Wilson’s job (however they may not be as productive in coverage). Here are several names that could make sense for the Cowboys heading into training camp.
He is my favorite option heading into camp. Sure are there off the field red flags of course, but this is Washington’s first opportunity to return to the NFL in multiple seasons. This is an opportunity that he will not waste as he has matured during his time suspended.
Washington was one of the best defensive players in the league prior to his suspension. It would be worth the risk for the front office to take a chance on him.
Durant has been around the organization for a long time so he would be a nice band aid for the loss of Wilson. The only thing I can imagine being an issue is just how much he has left in the tank as the Cowboys have already seemingly moved on from the veteran. Durant has the ability to make plays and add to the depth at the linebacker position.
Tulloch would really be mostly a depth add and if he could stay healthy could be a solid veteran linebacker for this team. He spent his 2016 with the Philadelphia Eagles where he only started in one game but played in 12. A season prior to that he was with the Detroit Lions where he recorded 107 tackles.
Spikes is one of the long shots on this list as he did not start in a game at all during the 2016 season. For the last two years, he has played with the Buffalo Bills and has only notched 10 starts and 63 tackles.
A Spikes addition would surely be for depth as it would be hard to imagine he would be asked to take major snaps.
Riley started in 11 games for the Oakland Raiders last season racking up 2 forced fumbles and 48 combined tackles. He spent a lot of his career with the Washington Redskins where he showed some solid linebacker play. Is he a star, no, but he will be able to help, fully replace Wilson.
(Bonus) DeAndre Levy
At 30 injuries have really hampered Levy’s career as he has only played in 6 games over the last two seasons. The Cowboys would bring him in as an outside linebacker but only to bolster the depth of the linebacking unit as a whole and not just as a sole replacement for Wilson.
If the Cowboys are going to replace Wilson with free agents than Washington, Riley, and Durant make the most sense if the team is going to act prior to training camp beginning. They could also wait as see who gets released prior to the regular season as there should be plenty of new options on the market towards the end of camp.
A veteran linebacker on the roster bubble could make a ton of sense for the Cowboys and the best time to find one will be in the coming weeks ahead. A veteran linebacker on the roster bubble could make a ton of sense for the Cowboys and the best time to find one will be in the coming weeks ahead.