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The biggest question heading into training camp is who is going to try to replace Sean Lee at middle linebacker. Lee has been one of Dallas’ best players when he’s remained healthy but unfortunately he will miss the entire year.
The next step for the coaching staff is finding someone who can try to fill this void.
So far in minicamp, outside linebacker Justin Durant has been taking the first-team reps at the position. He’s played in the middle previously in his career, but his natural spot is along the outside.
After Durant, the team doesn’t have many options. Second-year DeVonte Holloman filled in for Lee last year somewhat but keep in mind the defense will need outside linebackers as well.
The remaining choices consist of an interesting crew. Rookie Anthony Hitchens played middle linebacker at Iowa but can Dallas really start a fourth-round pick at one of the most important places on the field?
Next is Orie Lemon. The 26-year-old has been with the team the last two seasons, although, he’s played in just eight games in his career.
Lastly there’s recently acquired Rolando McClain. The former top-10 pick was an absolute stud at Alabama but has consistently run into trouble in the NFL. The Cowboys traded for the recently retired linebacker for practically nothing so the risk here is minimal.
This obviously isn’t the scenario anyone wanted heading to training camp, but it does seem like there’s some quality choices for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to choose from.