Cowboys' Eric Kendricks signing already looking like a free agency steal

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys will hopefully add to their 90-man offseason roster before training camp in six weeks. While fans want the team to sign NFL-proven players, Jerry Jones and Co. have instead opted to host a quartet of UFL standouts, including two former first-round picks, for workouts at The Star.

Two of those players, Willie Harvey Jr. and Noah Dawkins, coincidentally play linebacker. Simply put, the Cowboys need better linebacker play in 2024 if they are to make a deep playoff run. It's why they signed veteran Eric Kendricks to command Mike Zimmer's defense. Kendricks is expected to wear the green dot as the defense's field general, previously worn by Leighton Vander Esch.

A former All-Pro and six-year starter under Zimmer in Minnesota, Kendricks will be a catalyst in relaying Zimmer's scheme to his teammates. All the buzz from OTAs and mandatory minicamp hint that Kendricks has taken strong initiative in that regard.

While Kendricks has embraced a leadership role in between snaps, he's also led by example with his play during team drills.

Cowboys' Eric Kendricks signing already looks like a genius move

Per Patrik Walker of the team's official website, Kendricks' coverage ability has turned heads. He made a full-extension deflection on a Dak Prescott pass in the red zone during 7-on-7 drills in minicamp that Donovan Wilson picked off.

Cowboys TV host and reporter Kyle Youmans added that Kendricks intercepted another pass later in the same practice.

These splash plays are notable because they have absolutely nothing to do with Kendricks' familiarity with Zimmer's system. Rather, they are a testament to Kendricks' instincts, football IQ and ability to read both routes and a quarterback's eyes.

With that said, don't sleep on Kendricks' athleticism. While the aforementioned intangibles will help Kendricks overcome his age (he turned 32 in February), he still moves extremely well for a 10-year pro. That can be attributed to his rigorous workout routine and dedication to keeping himself in excellent shape.

Right after the conclusion of minicamp, Kendricks was back in the lab, as evidenced by videos and photos his trainer shared to social media.

Training camp hasn't even started, but signing Kendricks already looks to be a home run decision by the Cowboys. A few splash plays in non-padded practices obviously doesn't mean Kendricks will be an All-Pro this season, but his experience and knowledge of Zimmer's scheme are going to pay monster dividends for the defense.

That process started in earnest at OTAs and minicamp.

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