Texans sign former Cowboys, Packers linebacker Joe Thomas

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Mark Lane
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The Houston Texans continue to find players who can hold down the fort as the defense transitions to the Tampa-2 scheme under new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Texans have agreed to sign former Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers linebacker Joe Thomas to a one-year contract worth $2 million.

Thomas was an undrafted free agent from South Carolina State who spent the 2014 season on the Packers’ practice squad. After his release from the Packers at the end of the 2015 preseason, he was picked up by the Cowboys, who also stashed him on their practice squad. However, Green Bay signed Thomas off of Dallas’ practice squad in 2015, and the 6-1, 230-pound linebacker played 14 games for Green Bay, recording 1.0 sack and 26 combined tackles.

Throughout his time in Green Bay, Thomas produced 110 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, and an interception through 42 games, eight of which he started.

In 2018, Thomas signed with the Cowboys. Throughout his three seasons with the Cowboys, Thomas collected 95 combined tackles, three pass breakups and a forced fumble through 40 games, six of which he started.

Thomas backed up the Cowboys’ linebacking corps of Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, and Sean Lee, and has experience playing in the Tampa-2 scheme from his time in Dallas, where they have been employing a variation of the scheme since 2013.