Cowboys LB Durant: I haven't done what I feel I can do

After seven NFL seasons, Justin Durant isn't satisfied with what he has accomplished as a professional football player.

Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

After seven NFL seasons, Justin Durant isn't satisfied with what he has accomplished as a professional football player.

At 28, the veteran linebacker believes he should've had a better career up to this point.

"I haven't done what I felt I have the ability to do in the league, yet," Durant said sitting at his Valley Ranch locker last week. "I've probably shown what I can do and then gotten hurt, or something like that. I know that it's football, but I know I can do some things in this league.

"I just want to stay healthy and get out there on the field and show the world what I can do."

He'll have a great opportunity this year. With Sean Lee likely lost for the season because of a knee injury, Durant would be the team's starting middle linebacker if the season started today.

The Cowboys used minicamp to try their linebackers at multiple positions. Despite outside linebacker being Durant's primary position before landing in Dallas, his veteran presence might be best utilized in the middle.

"He's comfortable there," Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus said. "He knows what to do and how to play that position. He's been solid during this OTA and minicamp.

"The main thing for him is the communication part of it, making all the calls, being the quarterback and those types of things. I think as we go through it every day, he's getting more and more comfortable."

Durant downplayed that he's the frontrunner to start in the middle. The Cowboys are looking to start the best three linebackers on their roster, regardless of position. It's likely that the first-team group could change several times throughout training camp next month.

"I think that I'm just the vet," Durant said. "I'm the older guy in the room. I was the backup last year at the Mike and I think [Eberflus] just feels more comfortable with me right now. I think once we go to camp he's going to start probably moving guys around and try to mix and match to see what's the best group for us."

Durant spent four seasons in Jacksonville and two in Detroit before joining the Cowboys a year ago. In two seasons with the Lions, he recorded 171 tackles while starting 26 games. With Jacksonville in 2009, Durant had arguably his best season, totaling 98 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

The 2007 second-round pick missed six games last season because of a hamstring injury. He started six of 10 games on the strongside and recorded 24 tackles.

"We got a good group," Durant said. "Everybody has talent and ability. It's going to be a fight in training camp. The competition is going to bring out the best in everybody. If it's not me, I'm going to be there rooting for my guys."

Send feedback on our
new story page