The biggest downside to the Dallas Cowboys win on Monday Night Football was the hamstring issue that befell WLB Sean Lee. Hamstrings can be a lingering issue that need time to heal. On the official injury report, which you can see below, Lee is listed as questionable and hasn't practiced all week.
Mike Fisher from 105.3 The Fan and CowboysHQ.com confirmed that Lee didn't practice and perhaps more telling didn't meet with the media on Friday, as he usually does.
Sean Lee (ham) DNpractice today, also didn't meet w media as usually does Fri. Both actions suggest down-arrow for #Cowboys game likelihood
So if Lee doesn't play, where do the Dallas Cowboys turn for the snaps at WLB?
In Rod Marinelli's 4-3 scheme, the weak side linebacker is one of the two or three most important positions. Losing a player of Sean Lee's caliber at a position of high importance is a bummer to say the least.
The latest Cowboys injury report is in...
To me it's more likely that starting strong side linebacker Damien Wilson sees the majority of work at WILL if Sean Lee is absence this week. Wilson got some work there during the offseason and training camp during Lee's rest days.
During the offseason, Bryan Broaddus sat down with Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas and had this to say about Wilson. Here is the full transcript of that interview from July.
"But, what they were doing with him was when Sean Lee wasn't practicing, they were playing Damien Wilson as that sub linebacker." "They were getting him ready if something were to happen with Lee. And that's a vital piece." "Their attitude right now is, 'hey, we just need to see how this thing plays out.' And hopefully we don't lose what they would consider a vital piece to their defense coming up in training camp."
Bryan Broaddus - DallasCowboys.com
When Bryan Broaddus makes note of it, I do as well. He has excellent insight into the team. It looks like the Dallas Cowboys backup plan at WILL was Damien Wilson at the time.
It's not reasonable or realistic to expect Wilson to step in for Lee and be as effective as the All-Pro linebacker, but he has some ability that can help you make plays.
Elite coverage linebacker.
Pro Football Focus highlighted another NFC East linebacker in the tweet above, but you can't help but notice Damien Wilson's name as well.
In 2016, when he was targeted, Wilson only allowed a passer rating of 67.5. That was the third best among linebackers last year.
If Lee isn't able to play on Sunday, I fully expect to see a lot of Damien Wilson lined up at weak side linebacker. You can't replace or replicate Sean Lee, but Wilson is no slouch. We just don't get to see enough of him because of the limited role of a strong side linebacker in today's NFL. It's certainly possible that veteran Justin Durant sees some time at WLB. That being said, I think Wilson will be the next man up.
We all would prefer to see Sean Lee play, but if he's unable to, this could create an opportunity for the Dallas Cowboys to see their future at WLB.
With Damien Wilson, that future could be awfully bright.
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position
UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live.
Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.
However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.
This week, they even signed one.
Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.
He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.
His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.
But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.
According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.
Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room. https://t.co/Ivt5uk9kBN
It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.
Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.
Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.
It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.
They'd possibly have to decide among these:
- Dez Bryant
- Terrrance Williams
- Cole Beasley
- Ryan Switzer
- Allen Hurns
- Deonte Thompson
- Noah Brown
- A drafted rookie?
This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract.
Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.
Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.
As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
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.
Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).
Star Blog3 days ago
Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?
Star Blog4 days ago
Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line
Star Blog2 weeks ago
3 Former Penn State Alumni Cowboys Could Target in Free Agency
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Cowboys Defense: Bigger Need at Safety or Defensive End?
Player News2 days ago
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Final Cowboys Mock Drafts Before Free Agency Address Defensive Interior, Receiver
Star Blog1 day ago
What’s the Next Move for Cowboys in Free Agency?