Nick Hayden will return to the Dallas Cowboys for a third consecutive season after agreeing to a one-year contract, a source confirmed.
Hayden has started at defensive tackle the past two seasons for the Cowboys, and was credited with 52 tackles, four tackles for loss and eight quarterback pressures by the coaches last season. He had seven tackles and three quarterback pressures in the playoffs.
Financial terms of the contract are not known at his point.
Hayden, 29, gives the Cowboys a steady, veteran presence on the inside who knows the defensive scheme. He was a sixth-round draft pick in 2008 out of Wisconsin by the Carolina Panthers, and also had a stint in Cincinnati before coming to Dallas.
The Cowboys have already seen several defensive players depart in free agency, including Sterling Moore who signed with Tampa Bay on Thursday. Linebackers Justin Durant (Atlanta) and Bruce Carter (Tampa Bay), as well as defensive tackle Henry Melton (Tampa Bay) have also left.
Defensive ends George Selvie and Anthony Spencer are also expected to sign elsewhere.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760