Cowboys Officially Sign Former Jaguar LB Dekoda Watson; Rookie LB Waived

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys officially signed veteran linebacker Dekoda Watson to their active roster Friday afternoon.

Watson is the latest of several signings at the position, as the Cowboys continue to offset injury problems following the loss of Justin Durant to a torn bicep. The team released fellow linebacker Keith Smith to make room for Watson.

In an interesting twist, Watson actually comes to Dallas from the Jaguars, who released him on Monday following Jacksonville's loss to the Cowboys at Wembley Stadium in London.

"He has a comfort level with the scheme that we have, both on special teams and on defense and did a nice job in the game the other day," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "I think he had a couple, three tackles and really kind of showed up -- kind of admired him from afar. Some of the coaches on our staff have been around him and really like him."

One of those coaches is special teams coordinator Rich Bissacia, who worked with Watson while both were with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010.

"I've played under him, I understand his scheme, and I think that's where I have an advantage coming in – is knowing his scheme, being familiar with it, him trusting me and I'm trusting him," Watson said. "If he told me to run through a brick wall right now, I would do it. That's just how much respect I have for him."

Watson started his first game at linebacker for Jacksonville on Sunday against the Cowboys, but it seems more likely that he'll be a special teams contributor in Dallas while Rolando McClain, Bruce Carter and Anthony Hitchens handle starting duty.

This is Watson's fifth year in the league after he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers. He played four seasons with Tampa before signing with Jacksonville as a free agent last spring.


Watson was preparing to face the Cowboys at this time last week, and he'll now be part of their preparations for a Week 12 matchup against the Giants.

"I feel like this is just a total package here with Dallas, and you can definitely see it – not only on paper but on film," he said.

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