Reports have surfaced indicating that the Dallas Cowboys have secured the signature of veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks, marking their belated acquisition of an outside free agent, as revealed by multiple sources on Wednesday.

Kendricks is set to join the Cowboys on a one-year contract, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic. This development comes after initial reports suggested Kendricks was bound for the San Francisco 49ers earlier in the day, as disclosed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. However, Schefter later clarified that Kendricks experienced a “change of heart.”

The move reunites Kendricks with new Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, under whom he played for seven seasons during his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings.

Zimmer, who parted ways with the Vikings ahead of the 2022 season, oversaw Kendricks’ standout performance, wherein he notched a team-leading 137 tackles in 17 starts. Despite Kendricks’ earlier criticisms of Zimmer’s leadership style, notably denouncing a “fear-based organization,” he opted to align with Zimmer’s defensive setup in Dallas.

The professional partnership between Zimmer and Kendricks dates back to 2015 when Kendricks was drafted by the Vikings from UCLA. His tenure with the team saw him achieve Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition in 2019, before being released in a salary cap maneuver last offseason.

Kendricks subsequently inked a two-year, $13.25 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers, where he maintained his high performance standards, tallying 117 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 15 games. However, he became a cap casualty once more in the recent offseason.

With rookie linebacker DeMarvion Overshown sidelined due to a knee injury and Leighton Vander Esch limited to just five games last season due to neck concerns, Kendricks’ arrival fills a critical gap in the Cowboys’ defensive lineup.

Nevertheless, Kendricks’ signing comes amid a sluggish start to free agency for the Cowboys, which contrasts with owner Jerry Jones’ earlier assertion that the team would be fully committed to the 2024 campaign.



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