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Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: LB Anthony Hitchens

The have several key defenders among the 2018 pool. One of them is , who has started the majority of games since he entered the league four years ago. Will he be playing for a new team next season?

After got the and gets his likely tender, Hitchens is the biggest name among the remaining . He has been solid going back to his rookie season, when he had to start 11 games due to and other issues with and .

His rookie deal now expired, and one that only paid him $3.76 million over his career so far, Anthony Hitchens is certainly looking to get paid. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that a big contract will come from the Cowboys.

Hitchens is not a standout in coverage, which limits his appeal as an every-down linebacker and a guy you want to pay big money. The Cowboys already have a lot tied up in Sean Lee and are hoping will take on a larger role next year. They also have back for at least one more season, which should fill out their starting lineup.

Anthony Hitchens
Dallas Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens

This isn't to say that Dallas wouldn't like to have Hitchens back. He's reliable and can play all three spots. But the Cowboys are too cap-strapped to give him what he's earned and what he can probably get from the open market.

One likely scenario where Anthony leaves Dallas is thanks to his former linebackers coach, , who is now the for the . The connection is already being made between the two by those who cover the Colts, and a is already expected by many.

With Eberflus expected to move the Colts to a 4-3 scheme, bringing in a middle linebacker who knows your system and can help teammates learn makes a lot of sense. It also helps that Hitchens will still be just 26 when the season starts.

While he's never put up gaudy stats with the Cowboys, Anthony has also always been in the shadow of Sean Lee and three years of . There are only so many tackles to go around. Nobody knows this better than his former position coach.

Of course, the Hitchens-Colts scenario is just speculation at this point. Hitchens is an Ohio native and might like to go to Cincinnati or Cleveland if offered. There are plenty of other franchises who could use a solid starting linebacker, too.

If Hitchens doesn't find a new home in , it's entirely plausible that he would come back to Dallas. The Cowboys would then have all the leverage and could get him on a bargain.

However, it certainly looks like there will be a market for Anthony Hitchens when activity begins next week. Barring a surprise, his future is elsewhere.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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EverybodyTalks

I wonder….Hitch has said that he would love to stay in Dallas. Lately, the news has been that Jaylon will be moved to SAM. So are we going to draft someone to fill the Middle? If that is the case, then doesn’t it make sense that Hitch has a home at MLB. He is young (25 or 26) while Sean Lee is 32. You could restructure Sean Lee’s contract for a couple of years to help pay for Anthony as the natural heir to Sean’s position. Many, in Cowboy Nation, said the one regret last year in FA was letting Barry Church go. I think the analogy is the same with Hitchens. Now this is pure speculation also, but his value to the LB Corp should not be overlooked. I get that it is a business, but I believe there is more value in retaining him.

EverybodyTalks

I just heard KC is offering him a 4 yr, 9 million deal…therefore, so much for my spec elation and wishful thinking.

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