What Does Justin Durant Bring to the Dallas Cowboys' Defense?

Cowboys and Former Detroit Linebacker Agreed to a Two-year Deal on Tuesday

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Stop the presses: The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to terms with a free agent.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cowboys and linebacker Justin Durant have agreed to a two-year contract, which will be signed and official as soon as Dallas gets enough cap room to do such.

So, expect that to come some time in June.

A six-year veteran linebacker who spent the last two seasons with the Detroit Lions, Durant played his first full season of his career in 2012, racking up a career-high 103 tackles. He played his first four seasons as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Linebacker wasn't an immediate need to address on the Cowboys' roster, but Dallas now has a third solid linebacker to team up with Bruce Carter and Sean Lee. When healthy, Durant can be just as effective as either one.

There lies the problem, however: Durant played a full 16-game season for the first time in his career this past season. But he does bring depth to a relatively young linebacker core.

At 6-foot-1 and just over 240 pounds, Durant is an athletic linebacker who does a fair job covering both the run and pass. He also is a good tackler in the open field, and is just another piece that will make it tough for teams to advance the ball on.

It does come off as a bit of a shocker to see that, late into the free agency period, the Cowboys finally scooped someone up. And with cornerback Will Allen and safety Michael Huff having also visited Valley Ranch, who's to say this is the last of Dallas' moves?

Either way, the Cowboys won't be able to make any official signings once the $2 million kicks in after releasing Marcus Spears, and whatever they decide to do with Doug Free, post-June 1.

Dallas now has a quality group of linebackers: A nice variety of youth and veteran. Durant is most certainly an upgrade over the likes of Dan Connor and Brady Poppinga, so that alone at a cheap price is something to take note of.

All he needs to do is stay healthy.

Danny Webster is a featured columnist for the Dallas Cowboys. You can get in contact with him by going on Twitter and following @DannyWebster21.

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