The Cowboys have 11 linebackers on the roster, and the top one – Sean Lee – likes the group’s depth and chemistry.
“I think we can have a lot of success in this defense,” he said at the end of the voluntary OTA practices last week. “I think, if you want to be a great linebacker, you have to be able to play in any situation in any defense, and I think this defense, we can have a lot of success in.”
Lee is expected to be the middle linebacker in new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s 4-3. Bruce Carter is expected to be the starting weakside linebacker, and the strongside backer could be free-agent signee Justin Durant, veteran Ernie Sims or third-year player Alex Albright.
The rest of the group includes 2012 draft pick Caleb McSurdy and rookies Brandon Magee, DeVonte Holloman, Deon Lacey, Cameron Lawrence and Reed Taylor.
“I think we have not only Bruce, but we have a lot of good linebackers on this team, not only with the 1s, but with the 2s all the way through,” Lee said. “We’ve got guys who can come in and play. They’re fun to work with. We have a great linebacker room.”
The linebacker room no longer has Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware in it. They’ve become defensive ends in the 4-3, leaving them free to rush the passer and not worry about pass coverage.
“Spence asked me a question about the defense, about a certain type of coverage – in the past, he would have known that,” Lee said. “I said, ‘That’s nice. You don’t have to know that. You only have to know one thing, and that’s getting to the quarterback.’ ”
-- Carlos Mendez