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    Cowboys’ Linebackers Have Potential To Be Special In 2017

    Unfortunately, the don't to for nearly another month. That means there isn't much going on football wise, so all we can really do is speculate about certain topics right now. One such topic that hasn't really been discussed much is the how Cowboys' linebackers have the potential to be something special in 2017.

    The Dallas Cowboys biggest area of weakness over the past several seasons has been their . That is why the main focus this was finding the right players to improve the roster and depth on the defensive side of the ball.

    Defense. Defense. Defense. This is the main area of focus Cowboys' fans will be paying attention to the most once the pads come on in training camp. Nearly every position on defense will be overhauled and will likely see at least one new face starting in 2017. And yes, that includes the Cowboys' linebackers as well.

    Even though the Dallas Cowboys didn't really add anything new to the position this off-season, I think this unit could possibly be the best on the entire defense and turn into something special if things turn out right. This might just be the most talented group of linebackers the Cowboys have had in quite some time.

    Jaylon SmithThe majority of the talk surrounding the Cowboys' linebackers has centered around second-year player, , and his still progressing recovery from his devastating knee . All Cowboys' fans are hoping Smith can return to his collegiate form, but unfortunately the jury is still out until he can prove he can stand up to contact when the pads come on in training camp.

    Word is Smith has looked really good in noncontact drills throughout organized team activities (OTA's) and minicamp practices. This is certainly really good news for the second year LB, because the Cowboys' defense could certainly use his playmaking ability. But, Smith's return to the field is only partially why I believe the Cowboys' linebackers could be special in 2017.

    The old man of the group, , has stated that this is probably the healthiest he has felt in his entire NFL career. To think that Lee could be even better than what we have seen from him in his career is scary. He is already one of the best LBs in the league and having him at 100% makes the defense better.

    Sean Lee is without a doubt the Cowboys best defender. Keeping him on the field is in the best interest of the entire defense, because they simply aren't the same unit without him. He is the heart and soul on the defensive side of the ball.

    But, Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith aren't the only Cowboys' linebackers who look to have improved since last season. and have also been reportedly playing really well in these off-season practices so far.

    Jaylon Smith, Sean Lee, Anthony HitchensAnthony Hitchens was thrust into the starting lineup after troubled linebacker decided to call it quits. Hitchens has been a solid contributor for the Cowboys' defense since his rookie year and did a good job last season as a starter.

    Hitchens has supposedly been flying around in practices and has looked like a man possessed. He has heard all the talk about Jaylon Smith coming in and taking his starting position, but it doesn't look as if he's going to give it up without a fight.

    Then, you have Damien Wilson. Wilson's didn't get off to a very good start due to an unfortunate eye injury because of a paintball accident. That injury caused him to miss time and much-needed practice, which hindered his development. He ended up finishing last season strong and looks to build upon that success in 2017.

    Sean Lee, Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, and Jaylon Smith are all athletically gifted linebackers. These four really give options about how he wants to deploy his LBs, because they are all crosstrained to play each LB position.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if the Cowboys' linebackers are able to stay healthy in 2017, they end up being one of the best LB units in the entire NFL. That in turn should help improve the overall play of the entire defense, which should be encouraging considering to all Cowboys' fans.

    I know this is a bold statement to make and is all based on speculation at this point. But, I truly believe the Dallas Cowboys' linebackers have the potential to be something special this season. Now, all they have to do is get on the field and prove me right.

    Do you think the Cowboys' linebackers will be special in 2017?

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    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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    8 COMMENTS

    8 Comments
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    Landon Sparkman

    This defense is going to be sooooo fast. Teams will be able to complete short passes but they will get lit up on the catch. Rod finally has his guys and can run what he wants. If the D line can play with quickness and force qbs to unload it quick, our suddenly athletic secondary/backers will make em pay. Think Seattle of 2013.

    Brian Martin

    Landon, I’m sure there will be some growing pains. But, you’re right. The Cowboys’ defense has gotten more athletic and faster. I’m really excited to see how things turn out.

    Assassin

    And the LBs will be much better if the DL comes through. The adds of Charlton and Tapper (off IR) will be huge.

    Brian Martin

    Assassin, I agree. If the DL can keep the linebackers clean, it will allow them to run around and make plays all over the field.

    Assassin

    Cowboys were 29th in pressure rate in 2016, per @fboutsiders . 31st in pressure with 4 rushers. http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2017/defense-and-pass-pressure-2016

    BeirutWedding

    From your keyboard to God’s screen…

    Brian Martin

    If only it was that easy ha ha.

    John Williams

    The defense will be better this year. The question is how much better will they be.

    I’ve always contended that with the offense that we have had over the last 6-7 years, if we could just get top 15 defense, the team as a whole will be competitive.

    If the team defense can improve to top 15 against the run and the pass (they were already top 5 against the pass), then they should be a contender by season’s end.

    With all the depth that is available to them, they should be as good as we’ve seen them since the Wade Phillips era.

    Exciting times for the Dallas Cowboys.