“If the starters are out there,'' a former AFC scout said of the Dallas Cowboys' linebacking trio, "it might be the best group in the NFC.''
SI.com’s EagleMaven has launched a position-group-by-position-group series examining the entire NFC East ... with the help of NFL scouts. The NFC East Examination continues here as John McMullen writes:
"From a trait standpoint, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are exactly what everyone is looking for in modern LBs - big playmakers who can run.''
How the scouts view Dallas' linebacking corps? They mention Vander Esch, Jaylon and Sean Lee and address the injury concerns as a negative ... but the positive is off the charts. The full scout's quote:
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“No margin for error,” a former AFC scout said of the Dallas Cowboys' linebacking trio. “If the starters are out there, it might be the best group in the NFC. If they’re not, it’s a problem.”
We can reiterate that Vander Esch has pronounced himself healthy following neck surgery and we can argue that Joe Thomas is solid insurance, but the point is made.
We've got our latest CowboysSI.com look at the Dallas linebackers - a "showcase'' - here. And here: Learn what the scouts think of the other three NFC East teams' linebackers ... and where they rank Dallas.