Sean Lee has been the defensive MVP for the Dallas Cowboys for several seasons now. Every year, however, Lee has missed time due to injuries. When absent Lee, the Dallas defense has fallen apart. Despite Lee’s injury history, and the departure of 2017 starter Anthony Hitchens, linebacker can be a strength in 2018. Here’s why:
LVE in DFW:
Needing to replace Anthony Hitchens at middle linebacker, the Dallas Cowboys spent their 1st-round draft pick on Leighton Vander Esch. Vander Esch is a Boise State alum who has excellent size and strength for the position. Leighton Vander Esch (LVE) should find his way onto the field often as a rookie, and he has the potential to be a 3-down, impact player on defense for Rod Marinelli.
Clear Bill of Health for Clear Eye View:
Jaylon Smith was notably selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. After a horrific injury, the top prospect “redshirted” his rookie season. The linebacker returned to the gridiron 2017, however, managing to play in 16 games. The fact that Smith can play football again is miraculous. However, expectations for Jaylon Smith are growing. Now over a year and a half removed from injury, Smith has been playing without his medical brace. If Smith can stay healthy, he can be a difference maker in sub-packages and as a leader in the locker room.
Dallas Cowboys Overview:
With an all-pro in Sean Lee, coupled with 2 impact youngsters in LVE and Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys can make a name for themselves. Playing behind talent such as Demarcus Lawrence on the defensive line, the team will look for contributions from the linebacking core early and often.
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