IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys continued their trend of retaining their own players on Friday, as they signed linebacker Kyle Wilber to a two-year contract.
The terms of the deal aren't currently known, but it allows the Cowboys to hold on to a key defensive contributor and one of their core special teamers.
It's been an interesting ride for Wilber since he was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. At the time, Dallas still played a 3-4 defense and Wilber projected as an outside linebacker. One year after he was drafted, the Cowboys switched to their current 4-3 system – giving Wilber an ambiguous future.
Wilber began the 2013 season as a member of the Cowboys' rotation at defensive end, where he achieved mixed results. He did notch two sacks that year, but he would ultimately find his home in another role.
Injuries to Sean Lee, Justin Durant and DeVonte Holloman didn't leave the Cowboys' coaching staff with many other options in November of 2013, so they opted to try Wilber's hand at strong side linebacker instead. He responded immediately with seven tackles in the Nov. 24, 2013, win against the Giants.
Wilber appeared in all 32 games at linebacker during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, with nine combined starts. He finished last season with 17 total tackles on defense.
The four-year veteran is also one of the Cowboys' top special teamers, as he finished tied for the team lead in special teams tackles with nine. He also contributed to one of the top special teams plays of last season, as he recovered Danny McCray's blocked punt for a touchdown during the Cowboys' 20-10 win against Philadelphia in Week 2.
Wilber joins Rolando McClain as the second free agent linebacker the Cowboys have brought back to the fold this week. They now have all four of their top linebackers – Sean Lee, McClain, Wilber and Anthony Hichens – under contract for the 2016 season.