Eric Kendricks Reveals Why He Picked Cowboys Over 49ers

When it came to choosing the Dallas Cowboys over the San Francisco 49ers, Eric Kendricks' decision came down to one thing: playing time.
Eric Kendricks valued playing time when it came to his decision to move to Dallas.
Eric Kendricks valued playing time when it came to his decision to move to Dallas. / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

The early NFL offseason was frustrating for Dallas Cowboys fans as the team was among the league's quietest during free agency. Linebacker Eric Kendricks was the Cowboys' only free-agent signing for the longest time before Jerry Jones eventually brought in more replacements as the weeks went on.

But even if his signing wasn't the most exciting, Cowboys enthusiasts were thrilled when ESPN's Todd Archer reported that the veteran LB rejected an offer from the rival San Francisco 49ers to join Dallas for less money.

If money wasn't a factor, why did the 32-year-old defender decide to move to the Lone Star State? Well, it turns out that his decision has a lot to do with potential playing time.

Cowboys News: Eric Kendricks Rejected 49ers in Favor of Playing Time

According to Cowboys insider Jon Machota, Kendricks wasn't a fan of potentially taking on a "reserved role" with the 49ers. The former All-Pro defender told reporters on Wednesday that he feels like Dallas is the perfect location to prove that he still has "a lot left to give" and that he hopes to "share my experience with the team."

Kendricks isn't wrong about the possibility of seeing more playing time in Dallas. The Cowboys' LB was one of the team's weaker areas last season as it was plagued by the injury bug. DeMarvion Overshown missed the entire campaign due to an ACL tear while a neck issue limited Leighton Vander Esch to just five games before he announced his retirement in the offseason.

All eyes will be on Kendricks to see if he can live up to the hype as the Cowboys' de facto starting middle linebacker. The former UCLA Bruin has 132 games (127 starts under his belt) while racking up 658 solo tackles, 18.5 sacks, 57 defended passes, nine interceptions, and five forced fumbles. He even earned All-Pro first-team and Pro Bowl nods for his 2019 performance.

While joining a new team can take some adjusting, Kendricks has the benefit of reuniting with a familiar face in Big D: Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. The 67-year-old defense guru was Kendricks' head coach during the latter's first seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, leaving time to tell if the reunion will help the grizzled LB turn back the clock.

Kendricks returning to his Pro Bowl form would go a long way in helping Dallas snap its championship drought. The Cowboys continue to navigate the NFL offseason with the eighth-best odds to win Super Bowl LIX (+1500), per FanDuel Sportsbook.

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