When the Dallas Cowboys selected Anthony Hitchens in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Cowboy fans were extremely upset because Hitchens was seen by many as a late-round pick. On the other hand, Jerry & Stephen Jones were extremely happy after the Cowboys drafted him. When the pick was made, Dallas’ brass was pumping their fists in the war room. That being said, the Cowboys believe Hitchens is a real good player and they believe he could make an impact on their roster as soon as this season.
The ACL injury to Sean Lee was a rough one, but the Cowboys have players behind Lee that can get the job done. In Rod Marinelli’s 4-3 defense, the MIKE linebacker is the captain of the defense. Bruce Carter will likely call the plays in 2014, as he did in 2012 when Lee was injured, but Hitchens will still have a huge role in the defense. MIKE linebackers don’t usually cover receivers and that is something Hitchens needs to work on. At Iowa, Hitchens had over 110 total tackles. Hitchens has a nose for the ball and he is at his best when he is finding the hole and making a play on the ball.
While there are rumors going around that the Cowboys could sign Jonathan Vilma or Pat Angerer, I don’t see that happening because the Cowboys want to get younger and signing a veteran like Vilma or Angerer would not do that. Naming Hitchens the starter would be a smart idea because it would give him an opportunity right away to show Cowboy fans that he was worthy of the fourth-round pick. There is a reason why Dallas was so high on Hitchens coming into the draft and he has the chance to be the starting middle linebacker when the NFL season starts.