Owner Jerry Jones said recently that unrestricted free agent linebackers Keith Brooking and Bradie James are not one in the same in his eyes, meaning they might not have the same fate in regards to their future with the Cowboys.
During an interview with local CBS affiliate KTVT (Channel 11) on Sunday night, Brooking said that the Cowboys have expressed an interest in keeping him.
Brooking, 36, and James, 31, both acknowledged during the season that the writing was on the wall for their departure, noting the emergence of Sean Lee and the team's use of a second-round pick on another inside linebacker, Bruce Carter. But that might not necessarily be the case for both of them.
"There's a tendency to talk of them both in the same sentence, and maybe you'd better watch that," Jones said. "You could have one and not the other."
Both players saw their time on the field cut considerably in 2011, though James started 13 games as compared to three starts for Brooking. Still, Brooking finished fifth on the team with 72 tackles, while James was ninth with 53.
As a veteran of more than 10 NFL seasons, a minimum salary for Brooking would be $925,000 in 2012.
After 11 seasons with the Falcons, Brooking signed a three-year, $6 million deal with the Cowboys in 2009.