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Free Agency Tracker | 2024

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Jones on Kendricks' pivot from 49ers to Cowboys


ARLINGTON, Texas — It was nearly a done deal for Eric Kendricks and the 49ers, but the situation turned into the first victory of 2024 for the Dallas Cowboys over their bitter rivals from San Francisco. It's been a mostly quiet free agency for the Dallas Cowboys through the first three days, but they did end the third with a bit of a bang. 

Even more intriguing is how the agreement came about, in a move that reunites Kendricks with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, the two having spent several seasons together with the Minnesota Vikings. 

On Thursday morning, executive vice president and director of player personnel Stephen Jones spoke on the decision to go after Kendricks, and how it felt to sneak the former First-Team All-Pro linebacker away from the 49ers.

"Obviously, with our cap situation, we're moving some things around and trying to make sure where we want to allocate things," said Jones, speaking from an event to announce the PBR World Finals at AT&T Stadium. And the more we visited about it, being one of those guys who was released late, and playing under [defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer] and [senior defensive assistant Paul Guenther] certainly influenced us in a big way.

"… We have nothing but respect for the 49ers, and we've lost players like that before, where they're comfortable with coaches where they're gonna go."

A former Pro Bowler is being added to a Cowboys' roster that is desperate for another true linebacker to tandem with Damone Clark in 2024, and he's the most plug-and-play option available right now.

"I've gotten to talk to Eric since, and I think he's gonna be a great fit," Jones added. "He'll walk right in and be one of the leaders on this defense right away. He knows exactly what Mike [Zimmer] is trying to accomplish with this defense; and he'll know it as well as anybody."

The influence of Zimmer is being felt early in Dallas with the signing of Kendricks and, for a team that nearly gave Dan Quinn carte blanche when it came to facilitating his wants in free agency and in the draft, it's time to see if that same level of commitment will apply to Zimmer in his return to Dallas.

So far, so good.

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