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Could Brian Urlacher Become a Dallas Cowboy?

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 23:  Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears stands on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Bears defeated the Cardinals 28-13.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistMarch 7, 2013

Rod Marinelli has been Brian Urlacher's defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears the last three seasons. Marinelli is now in Dallas. 

The Chicago Bears have run a Tampa 2 defense for much of Urlacher's career. The Cowboys are currently implementing said defense. 

Naturally, a link has been established between the future Hall of Fame linebacker and "America's Team." CSN Chicago's Chris Boden suggested over the weekend that if Urlacher leaves Chicago after 13 seasons, Dallas would make a lot of sense. 

When Urlacher's been on the field, he's still been effective. But the question is whether or not he can be relied upon to start on a full-time basis. He turns 35 in May. He missed virtually the entire 2009 season, a nice chunk of the 2012 season and was hampered by knee problems last summer that were at one point thought to be career-threatening

Other questions include whether or not he'd start in Dallas anyway and how much he'd cost. The Cowboys already have a stud middle linebacker in Sean Lee, with Bruce Carter and Dan Connor slated to start on the outside. If Urlacher were to join the Cowboys, he'd likely be an insurance policy who could contribute in specific scenarios and on limited downs. 

Part of the rationale for signing a guy like this would have to be the fact that he could help Lee's career on and off the field, serving as a mentor in the locker room. It's not easy to put a price tag on such things, but considering that Lee and Carter have struggled with injuries early in their respective careers, a guy like Urlacher could be quite the asset on the field in a dire situation. 

But Dallas doesn't have a lot of money. In fact, right now, the team is in the red. And with glaring needs elsewhere, the Cowboys would take a lot of heat for spending $3-4 million on an over-the-hill veteran who would probably start the year in a backup role.

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