It has taken Kyle Wilber longer than the Cowboys thought, but he is making the transition to a 4-3 defensive end.
“One of the positive things that we felt like, as a staff, was that he was learning during the game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We thought his rushes got better during the game. He did a little better job of getting on the edge, certainly on that sack-fumble that he made.”
Wilber played 51 snaps, almost two-thirds of the game, as he stepped in for DeMarcus Ware at defensive end. The second-year player finished with three tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit, to go along with the strip-sack-and-recovery against Robert Griffin III in last week’s game.
“We’ve talked about this before with Kyle. We drafted him as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, and he’s one of those young guys who we had some question about his ability to transition into a 4-3 defense,” Garrett said. “He’s been a guy who has been taking a little bit of time to do that, but I think he’s learning. He’s learning from watching DeMarcus Ware and some of the other guys who are playing ahead of him. And certainly in that environment with Rod and Leon, it’s a good place to learn, and he’s the right kind of guy, and he’s gotten better.”
Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said Wilber just needs a push every once in a while.
“He’s the kind of guy you got to kick in the butt here and there to keep him going,” Hatcher said. “He’s doing some good things out there. But he’ll go in his little lull state and you got to be like, hey, pick it up here, pick it back up.”
-- Carlos Mendez