By Matthew Postins
The Dallas Cowboys turned their attention to shoring up their linebacking corps while their leading sacker of a year ago exited east for a NFC East rival.
The Cowboys announced the signing of linebacker Caleb Herring, who took to Twitter shortly before the official announcement to let his followers know he was coming to Dallas. Meanwhile defensive tackle Jason Hatcher accepted an offer to join the Washington Redskins.
Hatcher, who sacked the quarterback 11 times a year ago and was an injury replacement in the Pro Bowl, reportedly agreed to a four-year, $27.5 million deal, much more than the Cowboys could afford to pay him. Hatcher made stops in Seattle, Oakland and Tennessee before settling on the Redskins.
The Redskins had a busy day, signing cornerback Tracy Porter, linebacker Darryl Sharpton and defensive lineman Clifton Geathers. And they may not be done, as they’re reportedly after another Cowboys free agent, Anthony Spencer.
Herring, meanwhile, comes to Dallas as a potential special teams performer and backup. A fifth-round pick for Seattle in 2007, Herring has played seven NFL seasons but has never had more than 46 tackles in a season. He also has three career interceptions.
Herring is an outside linebacker who, theoretically, could take the place of Ernie Sims as the backup at more than one position, as the Cowboys are not expected to re-sign Sims.
Terms for Herring were not disclosed.