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Cowboys LB Depth a Concern With Anthony Hitchens’ Departure?

Losing to the is quite a blow to the depth for the . During his time in Dallas, Hitchens was pretty much invaluable due to his ability to step in and play whatever LB position was needed in the Cowboys . Unfortunately, the Cowboys will no longer have that “ valve” at their disposable any longer.

The Dallas Cowboys were very open about trying to retain Anthony Hitchens, but they knew he would likely end up out of their price range in . But, I don't know if anyone could've foreseen Hitchens receiving $9 million per season. There is no way the Cowboys could have kept him at that price.

Hitchens' departure might not seem like a big deal on the surface, but if you dig a little deeper, you will discover that it creates a huge hole that needs to be filled at the Cowboys linebacker position. Let me show you what I mean…

Here is the Dallas Cowboys current at LB:




Backups: , Tre'von Johnson

As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys have to be a little bit concerned with their depth at the linebacker position heading into the . Yes, it looks as if they have their starters in place with Smith, Lee, and Wilson, but the cupboard is pretty bare behind them.

That's where Anthony Hitchens was so invaluable. He could step in and play any three of the LB positions, and do it at a high level without there being much of a drop off. The Cowboys no longer have that kind of “safety valve” on the roster.

Anthony Hitchens' departure via free agency definitely increases the need to address the depth at the linebacker position for the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, they would be wise to use both free agency and the draft to secure some much-needed depth.

There are a few free-agent linebackers out there who would fit into their “bargain shopping” mentality who could come in and provide much-needed depth. Luckily, this is also a pretty talented LB draft class. It wouldn't be a total surprise if they decided to double dip at the position.

Depth is the biggest concern here. The Dallas Cowboys don't necessarily need starters with Smith, Lee, and Wilson still on the roster, but they absolutely have to keep the future of the position in mind.

We all know Sean Lee has trouble staying healthy, which means it might be time to find his eventual replacement. Damien Wilson will also be moving on shortly. Then, despite his improved health, there are still concerns about Jaylon Smith's long-term health/future.

Anthony Hitchens will surely be missed, but the Dallas Cowboys surely had a contingency plan in place. It will be interesting to see how they go about replacing their “safety valve”.

Are you with the Dallas Cowboys LB depth after Anthony Hitchens departure?

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Travis Diggs

U dont know what you got till its gone, just look back to last year with Barry Church. Now were relying on Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith’s health all season. Seeing how we haven’t done anything in free agency and probably won’t, don’t expect Derrick Johnson and Navarro Bowman. This is looking bad guys. I would of long termed Hitchens and Released Sean Lee next season but most cowboys fans would say no to that

Brian Martin

Travis, I really like Anthony Hitchens, but I think the Cowboys can replace him through the draft. I know the Cowboys wanted to bring him back, but it looks as if Hitchens made the right decision to test free agency. There was no way the Cowboys could pay anywhere close to $9 million a season to keep him in Dallas. Hopefully they have a contingency plan in place, because the LB depth is a big concern.


Brian you’re absolutely right about Hitchens. I liked him too for what his responsibilities were in the Cowboys defense. He was solid, maybe slightly above solid but it’s not like he was a 1st round pick. I agree that losing him will be a blow from the standpoint of having a veteran presence. But he can (and will) be replaced. Hitchens did well for himself and securing the free agent deal that he’s about to receive. But under NO circumstance would it have been prudent for DAL to pay him anything close to $9M/yr. I wish Hitch the best and look for help in the draft AND free agency to help shore up that hole.

Hector Espindola

Yes, Damien Wilson is, by no means, better than Hitch, and we can’t assume Lee can stay healthy the whole season, so a LB in 2nd round seems coming.


hitchens is a big blow for us, he was one of my favorite players on the team.

now it leaves us with 2 LB’s who are nowhere near healthy, we can only hope smith turns out to be what he was once touted to be, lee we know won’t make a full season and then wilson who i think is a bit underrated by many has this weapons charge hanging over him. we haven’t heard if anything will come from it but knowing the NFL and its commissioner they will find a way to stick it to us again.

let’s hope we are looking to trade up for R Smith….and i would also take a run a Bowman

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