THE EBERFLUS EXPERIMENTS: Defining Dallas Cowboys rookie LB Anthony Hitchens role means being tested inside and out

THE EBERFLUS EXPERIMENTATION - Defining Dallas Cowboys rookie LB Anthony Hitchens role means being tested inside and out - The Boys Are Back blog website 2014

IRVING, Texas – Last Monday and Tuesday, Anthony Hitchens had to take final exams in sociology, earth science and sports promotion at the University of Iowa.

The first two days of the Dallas Cowboys rookie minicamp have been a more difficult test.

“It’s just starting out, so of course it’s supposed to be,” the fourth-round draft pick said.

Hitchens (31) moved to inside linebacker after playing on the weak side at Iowa (pictured above), where he led the Hawkeyes in tackles his last two seasons. He now has to call the defenses, call the checks and communicate with the entire group.

Dallas Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus - The Boys Are Back blog website 2014

“It’s a different mentality,” Hitchens said. “I haven’t done it since high school, so it’s different. I’ve got to get adjusted to it. I don’t talk much so it’s bringing better out of me. I get better by talking about it more.”

Linebackers coach Matt Eberflus said he was drawn to Hitchens’ movement skills and hitting ability.

“We’ll see exactly where he fits,” Eberflus said. “Right now we’ve got him at the Mike. He could end up at [strongside] or he could end up at [weakside].”

The backup to Sean Lee was an issue all last season.

“The problem was we played four of them,” Eberflus said.

Lee suffered hamstring and neck injuries and missed five games. Justin Durant suffered a hamstring injury filling in for Lee and missed the final two games. Ernie Sims started two games at middle linebacker, but he was hurt. Rookie DeVonte Holloman started the final two games.

THE EBERFLUS EXPERIMENTATION - Defining Dallas Cowboys rookie LB Anthony Hitchens role - The Boys Are Back blog website 2014

The hope is that Hitchens can fill the spot behind Lee.

“Time will tell,” Eberflus said. “As you look at it you always want to make sure you’ve got guys in the right position in what they do for the team.”

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2 responses

  1. I’m curious myself how this goes. When u factor Bruce Carter into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce Carter has been at the forefront of conversation over ths offseason … along with Morris Claiborne. MOs struggles can be attributed to injury issues that began early last season, Carter doesn’t get as much of a pass, even with his handful of lost game time later in the year. Carter struggled mentality with his 4-3 transition. Speculation around town suggests he might be better off shifting to the strong side to utilize his superior speed and physically dominating skills without as much “run read” responsibility. Personally, I think he’s had a full offseason to reflect (and study) and that he’ll be much better as he works through the summer camps. I expect him to bounce back and be more productive this season.

      Like

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