Right now is not the time to be an injured linebacker on the Cowboys roster, but once again 2015 draft pick Mark Nzeocha finds himself unavailable as the team wraps up OTAs and looks ahead to next week’s minicamp.
Nzeocha had his knee scoped on Tuesday, a procedure that will likely cost him a few weeks of valuable work with the Cowboys’ new-look defense. This comes after the Wyoming product missed most of last season with a strained Achilles suffered during the preseason – where he showed some solid flashes, following up on his strong play with five active games at the end of 2016 and three tackles against the Eagles in week 17.
It appears that the Cowboys will enter training camp with the linebacker position featuring plenty of depth in need of shaking out, as was the case last year too. As their much more prominent “injured” LB Jaylon Smith gets healthier by the day, opportunities for others at the position to see the field with Jaylon at MIKE and Sean Lee firmly in place at WILL could dwindle quickly.
This is bad news for a talented but often unavailable player like Nzeocha, who entering year three may now have to face the uphill battle of beating out a player like Anthony Hitchens or Damien Wilson to secure his roster spot.
Wilson has reportedly continued to impress in the role he’s carved out as Dallas’ base SAM linebacker, a spot that Nzeocha can bring some physicality to along with his contributions at MIKE and on special teams.
The Dallas Cowboys’ new motto for the upcoming season is “Re-Commit”, and for LB Mark Nzeocha this now means focusing on returning from yet another injury to finally put his full potential on the field for Rod Marinelli.