Wilber: I let down Cowboys coaches my rookie year

BY foxsports • July 26, 2013

OXNARD, Calif. – The Dallas Cowboys are hoping for a breakout season from last year's fourth-round pick, defensive end Kyle Wilber.

Wilber was drafted to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but like DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, he's moved to end in the team's new 4-3 alignment.

With Spencer possibly out for the next month after having knee surgery on Thursday, Wilber should get extra work to help him transition into the new position.

"It's great for him to be behind Ware, Spencer and some of the other guys we have and be in that room and see how they work and obviously being coached by Rod Marinelli and Leon Lett," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "If he soaks it all in and just goes out there and keeps trying to get himself better each and every day we think he can grow into that position."

Garrett says Wilber needs to get stronger. The former Wake Forest standout has gained 13 pounds form his playing weight last season and he doesn't expect to gain any more. Wilber said 253 pounds is "big enough" for the position because his coaches don't want him to lose his speed.

Wilber, who played in 10 games during his rookie year, said finger injuries "held me back a lot." He finished the season with nine tackles, playing mostly on special teams. Wilber figured he'd make a bigger impact in his first NFL season and admitted he was disappointed with how it unfolded.

"Coaches had high expectations for me," Wilber said. "I feel like I let them down. I just want to be a dependable, accountable player. This team is trying to make it to the Super Bowl. I want to be a part of this team and let them know that I'm a dependable guy, you can count on me."

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota