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A new chapter has been added to the 49ers-Cowboys rivalry. The Cowboys are expected to sign former All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks after he was initially slated to sign with the 49ers, according to NFL Media.

The 49ers reportedly made a strong offer to sign Kendricks, who tallied 117 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season. But Kendricks has ultimately decided to reunite with Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who served as Kendricks' head coach in Minnesota from 2015-21.  

Kendricks spent the first eight years of his career in Minnesota, where he emerged as one of the NFL's best linebackers and was eventually named both a Pro Bowler and All-Pro in 2019. He was released as a cap casualty last offseason and spent 2023 with the Chargers, where he collected his eighth consecutive 100-plus-tackle season working in the middle of the defense.

Kendricks was released again earlier this offseason as the Chargers worked their way toward clearing enough space to enter the new league year on Wednesday. 

With the 49ers, Kendricks would have provided insurance in the event that star linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who tore his Achilles during the team's Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs, is unable to return or is not at full strength early in the 2024 season. 

Instead, Kendricks is expected to join a Cowboys defense that over the past three years has been led by standout linebacker Micah Parsons.