Brooking Signs with Cowboys

Always in the market for veteran linebackers up the middle, and Dallas Cowboys have signed ex-Falcon Keith Brooking.

The Dallas Cowboys signed free agent LB Keith Brooking to a three-year deal on  Saturday, the team announced.

Brooking started all 16 games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2008 leading the team with 133 tackles (80 solo) and adding three pass breakups. He has played 11 seasons in the NFL – all with the Falcons – after being drafted in the first round (12th overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft. Brookings led the Falcons in tackles the last eight consecutive seasons and has recorded 972 career tackles. He has been named to five Pro Bowls – 2001-05, and played in Super Bowl XXXIII as a rookie.

As first reported several weeks ago, Brooking had the ability to void the final season of his four-year deal as long as he played in 35 percent of the defensive snaps in any of the first three seasons of the contract. Brooking, according to a league source, notified Atlanta of his intention to void the 2009 season earlier this week.

"Keith defined the Falcons in so many ways: his tenure, his leadership on and off the field, his commitment to excellence and his many resulting accomplishments, his love for Atlanta, and so much more. He will always be a Falcon in the hearts of his teammates and our fans. We wish him the very best in his future NFL endeavors, and we extend best wishes to his wife, Holly, and their children, Logan and Juliette," Falcons owner and CEO Arthur Blank said Saturday.

With Brooking and Michael Boley out of the picture in Atlanta, the WLB and SLB jobs remain up for grabs.

In Dallas, Brooking will compete for playing time with Zach Thomas and Bradie James.

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