Coach Jason Garrett did his best to shoot down reports that the Cowboys were interested in kicking the tires on future Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher as a possible replacement for the injured Sean Lee.
Certainly Urlacher has experience with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli from their days in Chicago. But Urlacher, 36, sat out last season after being released from the Bears and has not played since 2012.
The Cowboys have also made a point this offseason to get younger and healthier. Any pursuit of Urlacher would be counter to that philosophy.
“We have 90 guys on our roster that we’re excited about,” Garrett said when asked about Urlacher. “We drafted a couple of linebackers, we have some young guys we feel good about, so we want to give those guys every opportunity. We have some veteran players who weren’t completely healthy all last year, so we want to make sure they have an opportunity to work at some of those spots inside and just see who on our football team right now rises to the occasion. We’ve got to make sure we give them every opportunity. We’re always looking at the landscape of players – free agents on the street, trade opportunities, anybody who we think can help our football team at any position – we’re always doing that. But we like the guys we have right now and the competition we have going.”
Is there a focus on younger guys, not so much older players?
“Again, we’re focused on the guys we have," Garrett said. "If you look at our team, we have a really young roster. If you go position-by-position on both sides of the ball, there aren’t many guys who have played that long in the National Football League, and we think that’s good. Some of our best players are guys that have been around a little bit, and we think that’s good too. We’re always looking for a combination of veteran guys who have been around a little bit and younger guys who are developing into their prime, and then you have to have some role players as well. You start with 90 and then you try to make the best decisions you can with the players you have. And then if there’s a reason to go outside at some point, you go ahead and do that.”