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July 29, 2013

Cowboys skipped over Wilber in wake of injuries at defensive end, but he's 'gotten a heck of a lot better,' Garrett says

Kyle Wilber may have sunk on the depth chart, but Cowboys coach Jason Garrett remains high on the second-year defensive end.

“Gotten a heck of a lot better in the last 48 hours,” Garrett said before Sunday’s scrimmage, looking back at Wilber’s previous two practices. “He’s coming off the football.”

Wilber, drafted to play outside linebacker in the Cowboys’ 3-4 before they converted to the 4-3 this year, did not get elevated to first team defensive end when Anthony Spencer and Tyrone Crawford went out with injuries. Instead, the Cowboys went with an undrafted player, Ben Bass.

The Cowboys are more intrigued by Bass’ quickness and versatility. But Garrett is convinced Wilber has a chance at defensive end.

“He’s just big enough, he’s just quick and explosive enough,” Garrett said. “He’s not rare in either of those categories. But we think he’s a good football player. He’s starting to show that in the last couple of days.”

The Cowboys appear willing to be patient with Wilber, who was a fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest. They need defensive line depth right now.

“He’s in a great environment,” Garrett said. “Playing behind Demarcus Ware, guys  like Anthony Spencer, Hatch, being in that room with those guys, being in that room with Rod Marinelli and Leon Lett, it’s a great room. It’s a great learning environment. It’s starting to click in for him. Had a big sack in that red zone situation yesterday.  He’s starting to play a little bit better.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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