Brooking makes sense in Dallas

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Brooking Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis spent the past few weeks lobbying to be a Dallas Cowboy, but in the end, the club went with another 33-year-old linebacker. On Saturday afternoon, the Cowboys announced they'd agreed to terms on a three-year contract with former Falcons Pro Bowler Keith Brooking.

Brooking was the last remaining member of the Falcons' '98 Super Bowl team. He was a huge part of the community, and he played an important role in helping the organization and its fan base through the Michael Vick debacle. Brooking will replace veteran inside linebacker Zach Thomas in the Cowboys' 3-4 scheme. Thomas said he never felt totally comfortable with the scheme, but the Cowboys think Brooking's combination of size and speed will make him a better fit.

Brooking might not be as recognizable as Lewis, but he's certainly had a distinguished career. He played under Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips when he was the defensive coordinator in Atlanta from 2002-03. Last season, he had 102 tackles on the Falcons' playoff team. He's also known for his durability. Brooking hasn't missed a game since 2000. This isn't as splashy as signing Lewis, but it's probably better on the bottom line. Every decision right now is being made with DeMarcus Ware's future in mind. Jerry Jones had to have a sick feeling when he saw Albert Haynesworth receive $41 million guaranteed from the Redskins. I'm sure Ware's agent will want to use that number during negotiations. Fortunately, Ware's agent is Pat Dye. He's the same guy who represents Brooking.

Here's what ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli wrote about Brooking on Friday.