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Why Cowboys signed LB Kendricks after he turned down the 49ers

LB Kendricks

Why Cowboys signed LB Kendricks after he turned down the 49ers

After apparently reaching a deal with the 49ers, why did veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks choose to join with the Dallas Cowboys? In an interview with Jon Machota of The Athletic, Kendricks gave an explanation of why he finally chose to sign with the Cowboys rather than San Francisco: the chance to take on a more significant role in Dallas. (source: 49ers Webzone)

“I think I would’ve taken more of a reserved role [in San Francisco], whereas I feel I have a lot left to give, and I wanted to be here and be middle linebacker,” Kendricks said to Machota. “I wanted to share my experience with the team, share my leadership abilities, and command that huddle.”

Kendricks had little chance of playing significant snaps at middle linebacker in San Francisco because Fred Warner was the 49ers’ established starting option. After playing a crucial role in the Minnesota Vikings’ defense for the first eight seasons of his NFL career, the nine-year veteran played for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2023.


In 2019, Kendricks was selected to the First Team All-Pro by head coach Mike Zimmer, who is currently the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys. It makes sense that Kendricks chose not to sign with San Francisco, given the possibility of signing with Dallas and the chance to play a bigger role with Zimmer.

In the wake of Kendricks’ trade to the Cowboys, the 49ers decided to sign another former All-Pro linebacker, bringing in former Green Bay Packers standout De’Vondre Campbell on a one-year contract, since Dre Greenlaw’s recovery from a ruptured Achilles still remains uncertain.

Even though Kendricks chose not to sign with the 49ers, he will still get the opportunity to play at Levi’s Stadium when San Francisco hosts Dallas in a home game in 2024. The exact date and time of the matchup will be announced on May 9 when the NFL announces its schedule.

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