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Why the Cowboys need to sign a linebacker in free agency

Laredo, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys are hoping to land a long-time backup linebacker in the offseason.

The Dallas Morning News’ Chris Wesseling reported that the Cowboys have agreed to terms with linebacker Kwon Alexander, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys announced Wednesday.

The news comes after Alexander’s agent, Michael Rapaport, told ESPN that the linebacker has agreed to a three-year deal worth $2.9 million per year with the Cowboys.

Alexander played four seasons at Arizona State, recording 10 sacks and 39 tackles, before being released by the Sun Devils in 2015.

His pro career was cut short due to a torn ACL in 2017.

Alexander spent his first three seasons in the NFL as a reserve.

He recorded three sacks in 2016, with the first coming in a loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Alexander will likely join a group of Cowboys linebackers that include Patrick Robinson, Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence in the starting lineup, Rapapett said.

Rapaports also said that the front office has been monitoring Alexander since his signing, though the former Arizona State star was not named a starter during his time with the Cardinals.

Alexander’s contract will likely not have any immediate impact on the Cowboys’ plans to sign an outside linebacker in 2017, Rapavort said.

The Cowboys have three outside linebackers on the roster, including cornerback Morris Claiborne, who is under contract through 2019.

Rapavordort also said he expects to see some more outside linebacker signings as the offseason continues.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter at twitter.com/ChaseGoodbread.