Keith Brooking: Cowboys have shown interest

Don’t count out Keith Brooking’s return to the Cowboys.

The 36-year-old linebacker said on CBS 11’s The Score that the Cowboys have expressed interest in re-signing him.

“I don’t think Jerry Jones is a liar,” Brooking joked. “I know Jason Garrett is not, but they could have said that just to make my agent feel better.”

The interest is mutual. Brooking believes he can still contribute to an NFL team and wants to finish his career with a contender. He believes the Cowboys are in that category despite missing the playoffs the last two seasons.

“I would love to [re-sign with Dallas],” Brooking said. “I feel like this team, I feel like we’re really close.”

The roles of Brooking and longtime starter Bradie James were greatly reduced with Sean Lee’s emergence last season. Brooking finished fifth on the team with 72 tackles, according to the coaches’ count off of film.

Jones told reporters that Brooking and James, who are both free agents, shouldn’t be lumped together as far as their potential futures with the teams. It appears that was a hint that the Cowboys were interested in bringing back Brooking, who embraces the mentor role.

Lee no longer needs a mentor, but 2011 second-round pick Bruce Carter does. The Cowboys also need an insurance policy if Carter, who barely played last season because of his recovery from a college knee injury, isn’t ready to be an every-down linebacker.