#3. Clearing up the linebacker situation
After drafting two potential starters in April with the acquisition of both Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox, the Cowboys and new defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, sent a clear message. Dallas is clearly unsatisfied with the current direction of their linebacker corps.
The results of the draft were a direct shot at veterans Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, both former Pro Bowl linebackers. Injuries have plagued Vander Esch after his stellar rookie season in 2018. So much so, the Cowboys refused to pick up his fifth-year option for 2022.
As for Smith, his declining play and massive contract have many speculating that his days in Dallas are numbered. And the arrival of Parsons and Cox appeared to confirm it. Throw in the free-agent signing of safety Keanu Neal, whom Quinn opted to move to linebacker, and suddenly this positional unit is overflowing with talent. Possibly even too much talent.
The linebacker corps will undoubtedly be a major storyline to follow during the Hard Knocks series this summer. And the highlight might be one of the team’s former Pro Bowlers being traded out of Dallas.