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BACKING UP THE LINE

By Marc Lawrence – Continuing with Pro Football Focus unit ranking series for the 2020 NFL season the focus today shifts to the linebacker corps. The NFL’s best linebacking corps have both high-end players and depth. The Dallas Cowboys check in at No. 2 overall as PFF notes: In 2018, the Cowboys had the second-highest graded linebacking corps in the league (80.2), and they dropped to 11th with a 66.2 grade last season. They enter 2020 with one of the best units in the league as the corps remains intact, led by Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. Vander Esch was limited to just 510 snaps last season and took a step back with a 58.5 grade after a 2018 campaign in which he posted an 84.4 mark that ranked fifth in the league. Expect Vander Esch to return closer to his 2018 form, as he missed 14.5% of his tackles last season compared to just 8.9% in 2018. The Cowboys also return Sean Lee, who has become more of a role player at this point in his career but still brings experience and leadership to keep the unit together. Lee is coming off the two lowest grades of his career a 57.8 mark in 2018 and a 61.5 grade last season. To find out which team has the top-rated linebacking corps as well as the team ranking on every team click here.

Trending Today

It’s hard to believe, but the MLB teams that recently completed a three-games series over the weekend to start the makeshift campaign just completed 5% of the season. And speaking of baseball being back, the PLAYBOOK ADVANTAGE for August – free here to readers of the Coffee Club – points out the fact that the Washington Nationals could be facing a huge uphill battle this year. Find out why inside the all-new ADVANTAGE.

Grinding Out The Profits

2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine reports: One of the reasons the Jacksonville Jaguars went from a 12-win squad in 2017 to winning just 11 games total the past two seasons is they ranked dead last in the league in Penalty Yards Per Game. If head coach Doug Marrone is interested in saving his job, addressing the situation should be Priority One in 2020.

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