Cowboys starting linebacker Akin Ayodele is beginning to wonder where he stands. He was in Brazil and found out the Cowboys had signed ex-Miami linebacker Zach Thomas. The speculation is that Thomas will soon become a starting inside linebacker taking Akin's spot.
Ayodele, who played at Irving MacArthur, was on Sirius NFL Radio on Thursday and said he will meet with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and coach Wade Phillips to find out what going on.
``You understand the business side of this and you understand what the organization is trying to do and you just have to figure out where you fit in the whole grand scheme of things,'' Ayodele said. ``I really want to be a part of the team and I know I can contribute and I can still make big plays. I have to really go in and sit down with the head guys. I have to sit down with the head coach and I have to sit down with Jerry (Jones) and see what their thought on the whole situation (is) before I really decide, `Okay, what is my best option here?' Where do you all see me fitting into all this?'
``If it is something that they still have a lot of things for me to do, for me to go in and be one of the guys that is there making plays for them, then everything is good. But if it's not my feelings ain't hurt. I know how this business works and it's somethng that, you know, then I have to figure out where else I'm going to go.''
Ayodele (fourth on the team in tackles) didn't make many game-changing plays in Phillips' 3-4 this season. He did not record a sack, interception, fumble forced or recovered. The weak inside linebacker in Phillips' defenses has typically been the most productive. He has started since he arrived two years ago from Jacksonville.
_ Rick Herrin