Cowboys Eberflus: The State of Linebacking

FORT WORTH - The Cowboys went on a TCU scouting mission on Friday. Matt Eberflus talked about that Pro Day featuring Paul Dawson, and the state of the Dallas linebacking group Eberflus oversees, in this Q-and-A:

Eberflus on LBs

The Dallas Cowboys' contingent traveled to Fort Worth on Friday for the TCU Pro Day featuring Paul Dawson. Will McClay was there, as was linebackers coach Marr Eberflus, who offered up this Q-and-A:

GOT TO SEE SOME LINEBACKERS -- Yeah. You get to see them move around, talk to them, and usually you get them in the classroom in a classroom setting and talk to them.

HOW DO YOU THINK DAWSON WILL DO "KEEPING THE CUP" -- Yeah. I mean, he's got real good ability. He's got good quickness. He's got good instincts. And he's got a lot of upside to his game. It was good to see him here today. And he did a nice job.

THE FACT THAT THEY PLAY 4-2-5 HERE, IS THAT HELPFUL? -- Yeah. I think it's helpful for all linebackers now. You look at the percentages like you just said (DAL was in nickel 60%). You have to be able to be a three-down linebacker. And you have to be able to play against 11-personnel, because that's what we're seeing now. I think it makes you more valuable as a player if you can do that.

ARE HIS INSTINCTS GOOD? -- Yeah. That's what you're looking for in all the linebackers you're looking at: a guy that has good instincts that you get him in the right spot and he's got real good instincts to make plays on the ball.


HIS FILM IS GOOD, BUT COMBINE WAS BAD. DID YOU SEE WHAT YOU NEEDED TO? -- Sean didn't do well good at the combine, and then he had a real good pro day and all those types of things. With any player that has that situation, you like to see them do a little bit better. And I think a lot of guys did that today. But then see guys move around and see if they look good in terms of their agility.

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT COMBINE VERSUS TAPE? -- Well, you got to look at a lot of things. To me, I always go by what's on tape. What happens in the games, because that's real. A lot of times when you're moving around in this setting or at the combine, that's not real football. So, to me, when you look at that, you put a pretty big premium on the game tape, not cut-ups, big attacks, game tape. There's stuff that happens in a game that you have to be looking for as a coach: beat sometimes, knocked on your fanny, and then what do you do the next play. Now I'm looking at you as a person, as a player. What are you going to do next? If you're smart, to be able to look at what you're supposed to look at. You can tell a lot from game tape.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JASPER, LOSING CARTER, DURANT? -- Free agency, you're going to lose those guys. Justin and Bruce, they did a heck of a job for us and I'm happy for them. They did well for themselves and their families and I'm excited for their future and I wish them the best.

HOW MUCH CONVINCING TO GET ANDREW GACHKAR? -- Well, he's had a relationship with myself and Rich [Bisaccia]. It's been a good past with both of us. So, it's somebody we know really well. He knows us. It was a good addition for us.

WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DO YOU THINK HE CAN MAKE FOR DALLAS? -- All that with the guys we acquired and all those types of things, I like to look at them first. I like to see them, evaluate them, because there's a lot of different layers of evaluation you're looking at. You're looking at single-person evaluation and you're looking at position evaluation and you're looking at how he fits in with the other players you have in the room. So there's a lot of layers to the evaluation. So, I think you have to have him for a while and see how the whole thing fits together.

HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO HAVE SEAN LEE BACK? -- Excited. Yeah, excited. I know he's been working his tail off. So we'll see how he goes. One day at a time type of thing and philosophy. And he's been doing really good.

IS LEE AT WLB SOMETHING HE'LL BE EFFECTIVE AT? -- Yeah. I think, Sean, if it says 'linebacker' behind the position, I think he's going to be okay. I think that, like I said, we'll tie all these guys together and see how they fit. And we'll find the best position for them.


LEE AT WILL -- Sean's uniqueness in his ability, like a few other guys that we've had, he's able to play all positions. He can really play all positions. That's what makes him a valuable asset to our defense. He will certainly be good once we get him there and get him going. He's really super excited and so am I.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE GROUP IS STABLE? -- Every year it changes, which is exciting for everybody. And it changes week to week. Some guys are up. Some guys are down. Some guys have this issue going on. Some have that issue going on. It changes. You have to put the best product on the field that week.

WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN ROLANDO McCLAIN RETURNING? -- I'm going to let the front office handle all of the acquisitions. I'm going to let the Jones family and Coach Garrett handle that.

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*Fish breaks the story of Tony Romo's fantasy football get-together ...

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo leads a star-studded parade of NFL players scheduled to attend the first-ever “National Fantasy Football Convention,’’ a hands-on experience for football fans that will include celebrity parties, skills competitions, and most of all, fantasy-football guidance and interaction with more than 100 NFL players.

“Fans have never been closer to the game, and a lot of my buddies already see themselves as an owner or GM,’' says Romo in promotion of the event, scheduled for July 10-12 in Las Vegas. “And now fans finally have the chance to interact with all their favorite players and experts.” Headliner Romo is joined by the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski, the Eagles’ DeMarco Murray, the Packers’ Eddie Lacy and Randall Cobb, the Steelers’ Antonio Brown, the Falcons’ Julio Jones and many others on the list of those scheduled to appear.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of bringing the National Fantasy Football Convention to life,” says Romo.

The National Fantasy Football Convention — a new idea as part of what Forbes magazine says is a $70-billion market with more than 32 million fans as participants — will be held at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Information on the event, billed as "the ultimate weekend experience for passionate fantasy football fans,’’ including fees and other details, can be found at or call 214.525.6770.

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*For more on America's Team, featuring in-depth on 105.3 The Fan, stick with THE Cowboys Station -- including Fish's Sunday morning show from 9 to noon.

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Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is hosting his sixth annual youth football camp, and boys and girls grades 1-through-8 are invited!

The Citi Jason Witten Football ProCamp will be held on May 16th and 17th from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas.

Campers will learn fundamental football skills from a selection of area prep and college coaches. They will also have the chance to meet and talk to the 10-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro, who will be on-site to direct the camp. Additionally, every camper will receive an autograph from Witten as well as a team photo with him.

Cost of the camp is $199, but you can enter coupon code “COWBOYSHQ" when you register online to save 10 percent!


For registration and more info, go to ... and we'll see you at camp!

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