Scheme change will alter Cowboys' LB look

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys’ move to the 4-3 scheme under new coordinator Monte Kiffin has altered what kind of linebackers the Cowboys are looking at entering the draft.

From 2005 to 2012, the Cowboys drafted 12 linebackers, excluding Stephen Hodge on 2009. The average height and weight was 6-2½, 247 pounds.

To move to the 3-4, the Cowboys needed bigger linebackers to withstand more direct play with offensive lineman. Most of them were defensive ends in college. The biggest was DeMarcus Ware (255 pounds, 2005). Ware and Kyle Wilber were the tallest (6-foot-4). The shortest was Jason Williams (6-foot-1, 2009) and the lightest was Bruce Carter (240, 2011).

The scheme switch this year has the Cowboys looking at smaller linebackers like they had for years in guys like Dexter Coakley and Dat Nguyen.

So far there are nine known linebackers that have caught the Cowboys' eye in the draft process either through top-30 visits, Dallas Day tryouts or private workouts: Brandon Magee, Sio Moore, Gerald Hodges, Taylor Reed, Ja’Gared Davis, R.J. Young, Alex Elkins, Jarvis Wilson and Sean Porter.

The average height amd weight: 6-0½, 237 pounds.

Kiffin’s scheme is built on speed at every level. Linebackers have to be able to run. Moore is the heaviest at 245 pounds, but is just 6-foot-1. Magee is the lightest at 223 pounds and at 5-foot-11 is the shortest, along with Reed and Young.

Undoubtedly the Cowboys have looked at more linebackers, but that sample size should give you the prototype at linebacker.