- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Unable to find an acceptable situation under which to continue his Hall of Fame career, former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher announced his retirement earlier this week. Thanks to Kevin Seifert of the NFC North blog for pointing out this Chicago Tribune story, in which Urlacher says he liked the idea of possibly signing with the Dallas Cowboys, who were not interested:
Although the Bears seemed to leave open the possibility of an Urlacher return months after sending out a parting news release, such a scenario never materialized. Some speculated Urlacher would end up with the rival Vikings based on that team’s need for a middle linebacker. Only one team outside of the Bears truly intrigued Urlacher.
“If I could have picked a spot, it would have been Dallas,” Urlacher said. “(The Cowboys) run our defense. They took our d-coordinator (Rod Marinelli). That would have been ideal. But they have two really good young linebackers.”
Yes, a few of us asked Stephen Jones about Urlacher at the owners meetings in Phoenix a couple of months ago, and he worked hard to respectfully say the Cowboys weren't interested. Urlacher would have played the same middle linebacker position for them that Sean Lee is set to play, and Lee is a younger (and, at this point in history, better) player. Bruce Carter is the other "really good" young linebacker to which Urlacher referred, and as with Lee, the Cowboys want Carter on the field as much as possible. The did not have a need for Urlacher.
I would suggest to Cowboys fans that they enjoy this endorsement of Marinelli and the Cowboys' new defense by an all-time great who thinks he'd have enjoyed playing in it.