The Dallas Cowboys need to add a linebacker to their roster.
On Tuesday, Anthony Hitchens opted to sign a lucrative long-term contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving a hole on the weak side of defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's 4-3 scheme.
In addition to free agency, which began Wednesday, the Cowboys will be monitoring draft prospects. The Cowboys will begin the draft with the 19th pick in the first round. The draft has top-end talent in the draft, which will be held April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The franchise's other option is to add a cost-effective choice, likely a veteran, via free agency. The market for the position is thin, and many of the top options are already off the market.
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Here are five linebackers the Cowboys could target depending on their current personnel alignment:
1. Derrick Johnson, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs. Age: 35
Despite his age and mileage, Johnson signing with the Cowboys makes sense. The Waco High School product has seen a drop in production, but he's a valuable pro who's enjoyed a celebrated career. He can be a stopgap at minimum. You can find a full Johnson-Cowboys' breakdown here.
2. Lawrence Timmons, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers. Age: 31
Timmons had a productive 2017 season, racking up 84 tackles playing on a sub-par Dolphins' defense. If the Cowboys could get him on a one-year deal, it would be a steal.
3. Karlos Dansby, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets. Age: 36
The oldest player on this list and arguably its most productive. Dallas wouldn't be getting the 2012 monster-version of Dansby, but the 14-year veteran can still cover and tackle inside the box.
4. Jon Bostic, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears. Age: 26
Next season, he'll likely be on his fourth team since he entered the league in 2013. His size and speed make him a good, versatile player. The main concern is his lack of production.
5. Brian Cushing, formerly of the Houston Texas; Age-31
The USC product apparently has plenty of fire left in him. The question is: can he stay healthy? Cushing has only played in 18 regular-season games in the past two seasons.