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Report: Cowboys Agree To Two-Year Deal With Justin Durant

The Cowboys continue to fill in the holes in the 4-3 linebacking corps, coming to a tentative agreement.

Thearon W. Henderson

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cowboys have apparently reached an agreement with their first unrestricted free agent. Justin Durant, a Sam LB that had spent the last two seasons in Detroit after four in Jacksonville, has agreed to a two-year deal, in principle.

The basic formula that Jason Garrett uses to approach the draft is that he would prefer to have at least an acceptable starter for each position on the field. This isn't to say that he needs a world-beater, he just needs to be prepared that if value doesn't meet need in the draft, that the team be able to be competitive by having a starting level player man each spot.

Of course, the Cowboys don't currently have any cap room. After restructuring several players and releasing others, the team placed the franchise tag on DE Anthony Spencer. With the little amount of space they had remaining, the team re-signed Weakside LB Ernie Sims to the veteran minimum. This deal is contingent on the expected cap space to be gained from extending either or both Spencer and QB Tony Romo.

Durant has started 25 games over the past two seasons and played in all 16 in 2012. He accrued 103 tackles on the year (82 solo) and earned a -0.1 cumulative grade from Pro Football Focus (+6.1 Run D, -2.3 Pass Rush, -4.6 Coverage +0.7 Penalty). He is expected to battle for the starting position with Kyle Wilber and Alex Albright.

Durant hails from Hampton University (The Real HU) and it would be an interesting competition should the Cowboys select Keith Pough, one of my favorite SLB prospects out of Howard University.

As friend of BTB Jimmy_K points out, Durant is an extremely quick player and fits the mold of what Dallas has in entrenched starters Sean Lee and Bruce Carter.

The Lions were apparently ready to move on from Durant, favoring other players they had drafted. Reports also said that the New York Giants were interested in Durant's services as well.