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Free Agency Tracker | 2024

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Cowboys agree to terms with LB Eric Kendricks


FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have made their first outside move of free agency, as they have agreed to terms with nine-year veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks.

Kendricks, who initially chose to join the San Francisco 49ers during the legal tampering period earlier this week, will instead make his way to Dallas where he will reunite with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer after the former Minnesota head coach drafted and helped develop the 2019 All-Pro into one of the top middle linebackers in the league.

After spending eight seasons in Minnesota, Kendricks spent 2023 with the Los Angeles Chargers before being released on March 5. He joins the Cowboys defense on the heels of eight consecutive seasons with 100-plus tackles.

The linebacker room was in dire need of help going into the offseason after Markquese Bell was forced to step up from the safety position to play linebacker after the week five injury to Leighton Vander Esch.

With Vander Esch's injury holding his future in the NFL in the balance, only Damone Clark remains as the lone linebacker from the season's final 53-man roster. DeMarvion Overshown, who missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL, is expected to be cleared in time for training camp to make his contributions to the linebacker position.

The potential signing of Kendricks would add a reliable veteran to the middle of the defense that has been known for being a key leadership piece on Mike Zimmer's defenses from their days in Minnesota. With or without the return of Vander Esch, Kendricks provides reliability and IQ to the middle linebacker spot in 2024.

The Cowboys have also kept a close look at the linebacker position in the upcoming draft, as they conducted five formal interviews with linebacker prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month.

Kendricks was a second-round pick of the Vikings in 2015 after a productive college career at UCLA. His eight seasons in Minnesota saw him play in 117 games before playing in 15 games last season with the Chargers.

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