The Dallas Cowboys didn’t make any big splashes during free agency.
In fact, I don’t think they caused a ripple in the free agent pool, but it doesn’t mean that they didn’t get what they were after. Take the signing of six-year veteran outside linebacker Justin Durant, for example, not a flashy signing, but the Cowboys got a versatile player with experience in the 4-3 scheme.
The thought is that Durant can come in, and be the starting SAM linebacker in Monte Kiffin’s Tampa Cover 2 scheme from Day 1, but after having played both left and right outside linebacker spots with the Detroit Lions, Durant said he’s willing to play on either side in Dallas.
“My role is just going to be to contribute in any way possible,” Durant said on KRLD-FM. “I’m a guy who has been in this league for a little while now. I’m going into my seventh season, and I’m just willing to do anything to help my team win; whatever the coaches see fit for me that’s what I’ll do.”
Despite missing some practices early on, Durant has come on strong during OTAs and minicamp and has looked every bit the player the Cowboys thought they were getting when he signed with the team. He’s smart, instinctive, and reads and reacts quickly, which says a great deal about his football IQ.
With the Lions, last season Durant played in 16 games while collecting 103 total tackles, 0.5 sacks, three passes deflected and seven tackles for loss. The Cowboys will hope that Durant can duplicate those numbers in 2013. Durant seems to be a vocal, fiery-type leader or at least that’s what I’m gathering from following him on Twitter.
The Cowboys need that kind of spark on defense.