Dallas Cowboys Finally Sign a Free Agent, Steal Eric Kendricks From 49ers

After initially agreeing to terms with the 49ers, linebacker Eric Kendricks has decided to sign with the Cowboys as Dallas made its first move in free agency.

After a quiet several days, the Dallas Cowboys have finally found a free agent to sign in Eric Kendricks, who nearly signed with their NFC rival San Francisco 49ers.

Cowboys Sign Eric Kendricks to One-Year Deal

After agreeing to a deal with the 49ers, the former Chargers and Vikings linebacker has decided to go to the Cowboys instead, ESPN senior NFL insider Adam Schefter reported Wednesday.

Early Wednesday morning, it was reported that Kendricks and the 49ers had agreed to terms on a one-year deal after the Chargers released the linebacker on March 5. He was expected to try to help the 49ers replace Dre Greenlaw, who tore his Achilles during the Super Bowl.

But later in the day, it was reported that Kendricks backed off his deal and decided on the Cowboys.

The 32-year-old Kendricks was a 2015 second-round pick of the Vikings and spent eight seasons in Minnesota before signing in Los Angeles and spending last season with the Chargers. He started 14 games last year and finished with 117 tackles, which was second on the team, and 3.5 sacks.

Kendricks was released by Los Angeles as a salary cap casualty on March 5 after joining the team on a two-year, $13.25 million contract prior to the 2023 season. The Chargers saved $6.5 million with Kendricks’ release.

He was selected to his only Pro Bowl in 2019, when he also was a first-team All-Pro selection. For his career, Kendricks has 1,036 tackles and 18.5 sacks in 132 games (127 starts).

The move reunites Kendricks with Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who was the head coach in Minnesota for seven seasons while Kendricks played there.

MORE: Top NFL Free Agents By Position

Kendricks also fills a big need for Dallas, as the team struggled in run defense last season. They also had only one true linebacker on the roster during the end of last season.

The Cowboys have limited cap space, and it is still to be determined how much money the team will spend on Kendricks.

Dallas has been heavily criticized for their lack of activity in free agency as the NFL‘s tampering period began on Monday afternoon and they had yet to make a move despite having money to spend. They also lost several starters.

Former Cowboys starting running back Tony Pollard signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Tennessee Titans as Dallas will now be looking for a new starter to lead its backfield

Defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. and center Tyler Biadasz stayed in the division, signing multi-year contracts with the Washington Commanders. Armstrong signed a three-year deal with a maximum value of $45 million. Biadasz signed a three-year, $30 million deal.

Kenricks joins a Dallas defense alongside stars like Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs in a unit that ranked fifth in the NFL in 2023.

KEEP READING: Could Ezekiel Elliott Return To Dallas?

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