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Cowboys beef up LB corps, add Boiman

Continuing to rebuild their linebacker corps, the Dallas Cowboys on Monday reached a contract accord with unrestricted free agent Rocky Boiman, a four-year veteran from the Tennessee Titans.

The former Notre Dame standout becomes the second linebacker added by the Cowboys since the start of the free agent signing period. Dallas earlier signed former Jacksonville Jaguars starter Akin Ayodele to a five-year contract. Ayodele, who played outside linebacker in Jacksonville will move inside at Dallas.

The Cowboys lost two starters from 2005. Dat Nguyen retired because of a neck injury and Scott Fujita signed with New Orleans as a free agent. Because the Cowboys play a 3-4 defense, they need quantity as well as quality at the position.

Boiman, 26, will sign a three-year contract, the financial details of which were not yet available.

It is not yet certain where Boiman will play in the Dallas defense, but his versatility is a valuable asset, whether he wins a starting spot or is a top reserve. Boiman played both outside spots for the Titans and, given his size (6-feet-4, 236 pounds), he has the potential to play one of the inside positions in a 3-4 front.

Several teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, demonstrated interest in Boiman as a free agent. Most of those teams viewed Boiman, who is also a special teams standout, as a potential starter.

A fourth-round choice in the 2002 draft, Boiman has 113 tackles, 1½ sacks and two interceptions in 54 appearances, including 11 starts. His best season was in 2003, when he registered 55 tackles. Boiman has good enough range, most teams feel, to play as a nickel linebacker.

The Cowboys on Monday also re-signed two-year veteran cornerback Jacques Reeves, an "exclusive rights" player, who was a seventh-round choice in the 2004 draft.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.