Grading every Cowboys free agency move after surprise Royce Freeman signing

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers
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Cowboys grade for signing Eric Kendricks: A

Cowboys fans were beside themselves when it was reported that Kendricks signed with the hated 49ers, and rightfully so. In a stunning turn of events, likely thanks to Mike Zimmer, Kendricks backed out of his agreement with San Francisco to sign with Dallas.

Kendricks isn't the athlete he was in his prime, but he wears the green dot as the defense's field general better than most linebackers. Last season with the Chargers, he tallied a 82.5 pass-rush grade (fourth-best among LBs) and a 73.6 run-defense grade. With just seven missed tackles, Kendricks is still among the top finishers at the position once he gets his hands on a ball-carrier.

Kendricks' All-Pro days are behind him, but his knowledge of Zimmer's defense and vast experience make him an A signing for Dallas.

Cowboys grade for re-signing Jourdan Lewis: B+

By itself, re-signing Jourdan Lewis was a smart move. That shouldn't have ruled out re-signing Stephon Gilmore like it seemingly has, but that's not Lewis' fault. Assuming Gilmore isn't back, Lewis suddenly becomes one of the most important players on the roster.

Lewis started out slow in 2023, but he was likely getting his legs back under him after a grueling rehab from Lisfranc surgery. The injury was far more serious than what was perceived, but Lewis bounced back admirably by season's end.

Mike Zimmer loves having a savvy slot corner that isn't afraid to pack a punch against the run. Lewis checks that box. His 91.0 run-defense grade last season was second-highest on the team behind DeMarcus Lawrence. The 28-year-old is a great fit in Zimmer's scheme.