TUESDAY, 9:13am: The Cowboys have officially signed Brinkley, per the team’s official website.
THURSDAY, 10:41pm: The Cowboys have struck a two-year deal with former Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley, writes Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. Brinkley started 11 games for Minnesota last season, compiling 54 tackles and one sack. The 30-year-old played for Arizona in 2013 before returning to the team that drafted him in the fifth round of the 2009 draft.
As Archer writes, Brinkley is a two-down middle linebacker, so his presence will allow the Cowboys to shift Sean Lee from inside linebacker to weak-side linebacker as he recovers from a torn ACL that ended his 2014 campaign before it started. Brinkley is the second free agent to join Dallas’ linebacker corps this offseason. The team also signed Keith Rivers while losing Justin Durant and Bruce Carter to the Falcons and Buccaneers, respectively.
The Cowboys will also have to decide whether they want to bring back Rolando McClain, who was a surprising contributor in 2014 but who is facing a four-game fine for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for the third time.