The Dallas Cowboys signed Bradie James to a one-day contract so the linebacker could retire as a Cowboy. James was drafted in the fourth round out of LSU in the 2003 draft. Dallas definitely got very good value out of the draft pick, James became a starter in the 2005 season and remained one in Dallas until the 2011 season. Bradie James is only one of six Cowboys to accumulate over 1,000 tackles. James played one year (2012) in Houston for former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips who was the defensive coordinator for the Texans.
James was a solid run-stopper for the Cowboys and was their leading tackler for a record streak of six straight seasons. Later in his career he began to struggle in pass coverage and could know longer be counted on to be a three-down linebacker. That is when his career started to decline.
One aspect of Bradie James is that he's always been a class act. He always projected a professional image and never embarrassed the organization. Jason Garrett took the time in the pre-draft press conference to talk about Bradie since he wasn't involved in Bradie's press conference. He spoke about how James is the kind of guy you want on your team, basically saying he's a RKG.
Jerry Jones also spoke about Bradie's character:
"He was able to take his gifts, what he could bring, and he certainly made some great plays for us, but I think mainly his leadership - I always felt that we had a really top-flight, not only an individual, but we had a player that gave it everything he had whenever he played," Jones said. "There was never a doubt about that."
More stats about James:
Perhaps just as remarkable as his tackling streak was the fact that he was so durable while playing middle linebacker for so long. The accountable defender played in all 16 games in each of his final eight seasons with the Cowboys after his rookie year, spanning a total of 128 games.
James ranks second and third on the Cowboys' all-time list for most combined tackles in a season, compiling 202 in 2008 and 181 in 2009. He trailed only Eugene Lockhart, who recorded 222 in 1989. James also has the most assisted tackles in a season in Cowboys history with 117 in 2008.
We'll give Bradie the last word:
"It’s just awesome," James said. "It’s fitting. Thankful for just the experience and the journey that I had here. It was fun. We did our best, and we put it all on the line. To have an opportunity to come back and be regarded and retire as a Cowboy is just a dream come true."