Dallas Cowboys Less Is More For Cowboys’ LBs, Especially Sean Lee? Published 1 month ago on December 12, 2017 By Brian Martin Share Tweet After a four-week wait, Sean Lee made his way back onto the field for the Dallas Cowboys against the New York Giants Sunday afternoon. His return added a much-needed spark to the defense, but it might just have helped the Cowboys stumble onto something that could help them down the road. Intentional or not, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t ask Sean Lee to overdo it in his first game back after suffering his second hamstring injury of the 2017 season. I’m sure they were probably playing it by ear to see how he responded, but monitoring his snap count proved to be beneficial for him and the rest of the Cowboys linebackers. I’m going to call this the “less is more approach” and it’s something that I think the Dallas Cowboys should continue to incorporate at the linebacker position for the remainder of the season. It should hopefully help Sean Lee remain healthy, while also keeping all of the LBs as fresh as possible throughout the game. We all know how important Sean Lee is to this team on the defensive side of the ball and how production dips without him in the lineup. The Cowboys have needed to address this for a while now, but they may have stumbled on the perfect solution… a rotation. Against the New York Giants Sunday afternoon, Rod Marinelli rotated the linebackers and it seemed to pay off in a big way. Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens production particularly skyrocketed. Sean Lee finished the game against the Giants with 18 total tackles (10 solo), 1 pass defensed, and 1 interception. But, Anthony Hitchens wasn’t far behind. He finished the game with 14 total tackles and one forced fumble. Together they combined for 32 total tackles, which is simply amazing! I honestly believe that this production stems from the rotation, whether it was intentional or not. We already knew that Anthony Hitchens and Jaylon Smith would be splitting reps, but having Sean Lee take a few plays off here and there may end up being something we see on a regular basis. Now, Sean Lee still played more than any Cowboys LB against the Giants, playing 82% or 66 of 80 possible defensive snaps. But, it didn’t limit his production the least bit. In fact, I would argue that it actually helped him. Anthony Hitchens played the second most defensive snaps among the Cowboys LBs playing 59 of 80 (74%) followed by Jaylon Smith, who played 30 snaps (38%). And, they all had fantastic games, even though they all rotated in and out. So you see, the Cowboys may have stumbled into something that should help benefit all of their linebackers. If nothing else, it should at least help keep Sean Lee healthy. At least, that’s what we’re all hoping anyway. Do you like the Cowboys’ LB “less is more approach”? ADVERTISEMENT Related Topics:Anthony HitchensDallas CowboysDefenseJaylon SmithLinebackerSean Lee Up Next Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future Don't Miss Dallas Cowboys Facing Giant “Trap Game” Potential 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. Advertisement You may like Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts What was the Biggest Disappointment for Cowboys in 2017? After Defying Odds in 2017, LB Jaylon Smith is “Back” at Perfect Time 5 Positives for Cowboys Heading Into the Off-Season 5 Players Cowboys Should Sit In 2017 Season Finale Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys’ Ed Block Courage Award Winner 2 Comments Bill_In_NC I think the last two games has moved the resigning of Anthony Hitchens from a ‘luxury, nice to have but not critical’ to a ‘must have’ next season. Brian Martin Anthony Hitchens is certainly playing like a man possessed these last few weeks. I’ve always liked his talent, but he will likely be looking for a guaranteed starting role with a contract the Cowboys might not be able to afford. I would love to have him back though. Dallas Cowboys Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts Published 12 hours ago on January 16, 2018 By Jess Haynie Multiple sources are reporting Matt Eberflus — who has been the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys — will leave to join the Indianapolis Colts as the new defensive coordinator. Eberflus has been with Dallas since 2011, having joined Rob Ryan’s staff when Ryan become the coordinator for the Cowboys’ defense. He has been the linebackers coach during his entire Dallas tenure and was also named passing game coordinator in 2016. Tom Pelissero on Twitter With Josh McDaniels ticketed for the #Colts, former #Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus is expected to come along as defensive coordinator, I’m told. Lot of parts falling in place now. If not the Colts, some thought Matt Eberflus might end up replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Either way, it does not appear Dallas could have kept him around while Rod Marinelli remains in his current position. Eberflus’ work in Dallas speaks for itself, and primarily through LB Sean Lee. He has been Lee’s position coach for all but his rookie season, and in that time Lee has been one of the top defensive players in all of football. Beyond Lee, Eberflus has also been able to get quality play out of mid-round picks like Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. We also saw Jaylon Smith make significant progress this season. Given Matt Eberflus has never worked with Josh McDaniels before, the fact he was on the Colts’ radar says a lot. Make no mistake; the Cowboys lost a good one here. Don’t panic, however. Coach Marinelli has cast a very wide net during his time in the NFL and there are a lot of potential guys, some with plenty of experience, that Dallas might look to. It’s entirely possible that Eberflus’ replacement will be someone who Marinelli spends 2018 grooming to take over as the defensive coordinator. Still, of all the coaching changes so far for Dallas, this one hurts most. ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Dallas Cowboys Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander Published 1 day ago on January 15, 2018 By Kevin Brady Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander. Alex Marvez on Twitter Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003. The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders. Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation. Joey Ickes on Twitter Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired. The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season. Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys. Goodberry on Twitter Pretty bad https://t.co/fysjZqCQ6l Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units. We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out. ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Dallas Cowboys Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job Published 3 days ago on January 14, 2018 By Sean Martin By keeping all three top coaches (Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, and Rod Marinelli) in place for 2018, there isn’t a Dallas Cowboys coaching hire that feels like they “must” get it right to contend next season. This is how it should be. Producing nine wins, despite missing key players throughout the season, the Cowboys are changing things up at the position coach level to hopefully introduce new ideas and give the talent on this team a better chance at sustained success. One coaching vacancy that needs to be filled by the right guy above any else is on the offensive line, where things haven’t been the same since the great Bill Callahan departed. Frank Pollack took his place, and now finds himself with the Cincinnati Bengals after not being retained by Dallas this offseason. Tom Cable (Stephen Brashear / Getty Images) The first name that was thrown around in consideration for the Cowboys job was Tom Cable, which sent a panic throughout Cowboys Nation before Cable decided to sign with John Gruden and the Raiders. Cable had been coaching the Seahawks’ OL, a position that franchise has not valued in some time, and struggled to develop any talent in protection of their franchise QB Russell Wilson. Now, two new names have emerged as candidates to coach the likes of two-time 1st Team All-Pro LT Tyron Smith, 1st Team All-Pro C Travis Frederick, and two-time 1st Team All-Pro RG Zack Martin. Mike Solari and Paul Alexander Paul Alexander has already met with the Dallas Cowboys, looking for work after 23 seasons with the Bengals. During this time, Alexander served as Marvin Lewis’ assistant head coach, in addition to his duties as their OL coach. Judging on reactions out of Cincinnati to Alexander’s departure, the Bengals offensive line regressed under him in 2017, warranting change from a franchise that is as reluctant as any to move on from coaches. Goodberry on Twitter Paul Alexander better be gone Most recently, Mike Solari has served as the offensive line coach for the New York Giants — far from a renowned unit around the NFL lately. He does have previous experience with the Cowboys, having served as an assistant OL and special teams coach here from 1987-88. From 2006-07, Solari did reach the rank of offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, which shows the level of respect that the 30-year NFL coaching veteran has earned. He will be the Dallas Cowboys’ next interview for their open OL coach position. Dallas Cowboys RT La’el Collins, RG Zack Martin Depth at tackle, a long-term answer at left guard, and an extension for Zack Martin are among the questions facing the Cowboys offensive line moving forward. Whoever is in charge of keeping this unit up to standard in 2018 though, may hold the keys to getting the entirety of the Cowboys’ program back on track. Whether it’s Alexander, Solari, or another outside candidate yet to emerge, Inside The Star will keep you updated on the Cowboys’ ongoing coaching search. Tell us what you think about “Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Sportsbook odds for all Dallas Cowboys games Reader Survey Want to help make Inside The Star better? We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device. > Take the survey now Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.). Advertisement Advertisement Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here Trending NFL Draft3 days ago The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition NFL Draft2 weeks ago Pre-Playoff 7-Round Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft Player News1 week ago Should the Cowboys Consider Not Giving Zack Martin an Extension? Dallas Cowboys5 days ago 3 Free Agent Wide Receiver Options for the Dallas Cowboys Star Blog4 days ago Could the Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018? Player News1 week ago Cowboys DL David Irving and Restricted Free Agency Player News2 weeks ago Warts and All, Jonathan Cooper Earned 2nd Contract With Cowboys Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago What Went Wrong with Cowboys’ WRs in 2017?