VP: No decisions on Keith Brooking, Bradie James

February, 22, 2012
2/22/12
9:44
AM ET
Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine, said by phone Wednesday morning that the team hasn't made any final decisions regarding the futures of veteran inside linebackers Keith Brooking and Bradie James, who are both unrestricted free agents.

But it doesn't appear either player will return due to younger players on the roster.

Last season, second-year linebacker Sean Lee emerged as a starter and finished with a team-leading 105 tackles, along with seven pass breakups and four interceptions.

James, a valued member of the defense and considered one of the leaders on the team, finished with 44 tackles, his lowest output since his rookie year of 2003, when he had just 12. It was also the first time James finished a season without 100 tackles since 2005.

Brooking also lost valuable playing time and, along with James, offered to play more on special teams and did. Brooking had 50 tackles, his lowest output since 2000.

If the Cowboys bring back either veteran, it will be at a reduced salary.

While Brooking and James are considered leaders in the locker room, the team would like Bruce Carter, last year's second-round pick, to get significant playing time at inside linebacker in 2012.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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