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LB Carter Signs With Bucs; Veteran FB To Visit Thursday; Murray, Cowboys Talking

IRVING, Texas -  For the second straight day, the biggest Cowboys news involving free agency has players leaving more than entering.

But the Cowboys do have a visit on the way in veteran fullback Jed Collins, who is expected to meet with the club on Thursday.

More importantly, talks appeared to heat up Wednesday between the Cowboys and running back DeMarco Murray, who has reportedly received interest from teams such as Philadelphia, Jacksonville and Oakland although no visits have been made. In fact, Murray apparently placed a personal phone call to Eagles head coach Chip Kelly on Wednesday.

Murray and the Cowboys still seem to be far apart but at least there have been discussions and some negotiating.

Murray is apparently looking for a deal north of the $8 million per season that Buffalo gave to LeSean McCoy, who also got $26 million guaranteed. The Cowboys have offered Murray considerably more than the $4 million per year that Philly gave to Ryan Mathews and Mark Ingram got from the Saints.

So far, the Cowboys have yet to sign any players since the start of free agency, although they did retain both Doug Free and Cole Beasley, who were scheduled to be free agents on March 10.

But a few other players have made their way out of the building, including two linebackers.

The latest departure from that position was Bruce Carter, a four-year veteran who was in the same draft class as Murray. Carter signed a four-year, $20 million contract with Tampa Bay, just one day after Justin Durant signed with the Falcons.

Carter led the Cowboys with five interceptions in 2014, but it's safe to say his four years were up and down. The second-round pick in 2011, Carter started just 32 games, including eight as a role player on defense, mainly serving

as the nickel linebacker. His interception return for a touchdown helped clinch a dramatic comeback win over the Rams in Week 3. He also had two interceptions in a road win against the Redskins.

In fact, all five of Carter's career interceptions have occurred away from AT&T Stadium.

With Carter and Durant now gone, the focus has to shift to Rolando McClain, who is also unrestricted. In his first year back from retirement, McClain finished with 108 tackles and a team-high nine tackles for loss, five more than the next-closest defender.

But McClain had problems staying healthy last year and suffered concussions in the two playoff games.

Linebackers currently under contract for the Cowboys include Anthony Hitchens, Sean Lee, Kyle Wilber and Cam Lawrence.


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