The insertion of Justin Durant with the first team at middle linebacker was just another NFL eye-opener for the rookie fourth-round pick Anthony Hitchens.
One week after running with the first team in place of the injured Sean Lee at middle linebacker, Hitchens was playing behind Durant, who missed last week of OTAs with a hamstring injury.
The wide-eyed rookie Hitchens is still trying to make adjustment from weakside linebacker in college at Iowa to middle linebacker with the Cowboys. He has no time to worry about the depth chart and plans to learn from Durant as he did from Lee.
“I’m just trying to get better every day,” Hitchens said. “I don’t control the depth charts. I’m just worrying about the things that I can control and trying to get better. (Durant) knows a lot. I’m leaning on him. He’s a smart guy and I’m just trying to learn from him.”
Hitchens did get some good news on Monday when he officially signed his four-year rookie contract, allowing him to concentrate solely on football with no off-field distractions.
“It means a lot to sign that first deal,” Hitchens said. “You’ve worked your whole life for something like this and it just means a lot to sign it, but that’s just a starting point. I’m really just trying to get better every day and try to get another deal.”