FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys are in a state of decision-making flux when it comes to the who’s who of their linebacking corps - though one big decision has been made with the Thursday release of Chris Covington, the team’s sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
So the linebackers room at The Star in Frisco is shaping up to look something like this:
Leighton Vander Esch
Bernard is the new name, a rookie UDFA who the Dallas scouting department considered draft-able. But on a few levels above that come some Cowboys question marks as Mike McCarthy and the new coaching staff might move around some pieces here.
Is Leighton Vander Esch able to play MIKE? (And is his neck OK?) Would Jaylon Smith thrive in a move from the middle to being a pass-rushing SAM?
Can Sean Lee endure the burden of being a full-time WILL?
And can Joe Thomas, Justin March, Luke Gifford and maybe Bernard help pull Dallas out of its 2019 special-teams doldrums?
As March expressed to us recently, that group is excited to fix the special teams under new coordinator John “Bones” Fassel. And the big-name trio on top of the linebackers totem pole? They would like to fix what went wrong with a 2019 Cowboys club that failed to qualify for the NFL Playoffs.
Covington, who played in eight games over his two seasons, was joined on the Cowboys transaction wore by defensive back DJ White, who was also released. Dallas also signed a backup long-snapper in Joe Fortunato and made official the signing of cornerback Daryl Worley, an agreement first reported by CowboysSI.com.