The Dallas Cowboys are going to need a replacement for linebacker Anthony Hitchens after he suffered a season ending injury. Which player will they select?
It turns out that injury could put him out for most of the season if not the whole year entirely. This may put the Cowboys in an odd position especially with the full-time return of star linebacker, Jaylon Smith looming.
The team will have to figure out whether they can afford to give Smith a ton of playing time early on during the 2017 season as he is returning from a major injury. In reality, the most likely person to replace the versatile linebacker is the recently signed, Justin Durant.
He has been involved in the Cowboys defensive scheme before and has had pretty solid production for Big D in the past. The main issue facing him is that he is two years older and has really lacked the consistency to stick to a roster.
The team will already have to deal with the ever changing situation surrounding linebacker Damien Wilson as he is facing legal woes so linebacker depth early on could be a bit of an issue. The Cowboys could look to add several free agents but there are a few veteran players that stand out.
Washington is one of the easier players to focus on as the team has been rumored to be looking at him earlier on this summer. While he has been suspended and spent quite a bit of time off the football field, Washington was one of the more elite linebackers prior to his suspension.
He was expected to be the Arizona Cardinals star linebacker however after several off the field incidents, he was suspended indefinitely. While he may not be the typical “right kind of guy” the Cowboys look for, he could hold the most untapped talent.
Jackson is one of the older vets on this list and has only played for two teams during his 11 season stint in the NFL. Jackson will likely be best known for being one of the better linebackers in a terrible Cleveland Browns defense.
During the organizational rebuild of the Browns, Jackson was released where he was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts. For the last three seasons, he has amassed only eight sacks with the team which subsequently led to his release. Jackson does have more talent than a lot of other players available to the Cowboys.
Since 2009, Ninkovich has racked up 46 sacks and all of them have come with the New England Patriots. Prior to the Patriots, he played for the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins.
During that time, he was very underutilized and it was only until he became a Patriot that he began to generate solid consistent numbers. At 33, his athleticism could be limited but he should still be a terrific player with some gas left in the tank.
Unfortunately. Ninkovich retired last month. So it would take some doing to get him.
Greenway has played his entire 11 year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings. During that time he only managed to register 18 career sacks. He has however earned a reputation as a very consistent and active linebacker who can help defend against the run.
Chad is a solid team player capable of veteran leadership if any of these players could help the Cowboys, Greenway seems like the most likely option. He was a very dependable starter for the Vikings and could give the Cowboys the production needed to add some considerable depth to this defense if he can be talked out of retirement.