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Coach Non-Committal on Brooking, FAs

DALLAS --Head coach Jason Garrett declined Monday to discuss the status of any impending Cowboys free agent, specifically inside linebacker Keith Brooking, who told CBS-11 that the club has shown some interest in possibly bringing him back for a fourth season in Dallas.

"We certainly are pleased with what Brooking has brought to our football team since he's been here," Garrett said. "We have a lot of decisions we have to make, and we don't have to make those specific decisions right now.

"As we go forward, we'll see how the rest of our team fits together. I have great admiration for Keith Brooking, though."

As a 10-plus-year veteran, Brooking would make at least the $925,000 minimum in 2012. Despite a reduced role last season -- he split snaps with fellow free agent Bradie James while second-year vet Sean Lee became a three-down player -- Brooking ranked fifth on defense with 72 team-credited tackles.

Even if 2011 second-round pick Bruce Carter is ready to start next season, the Cowboys do have a glaring need for inside linebacker depth if Brooking and James aren't re-signed. Practice squad rookie Orie Lemon would be the only returning player at the position.

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