Justin Durant was a star linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys before leaving the team for a big contract with the Atlanta Falcons. Durant didn’t remain with the Falcons for long and returned to Dallas last year to help the team when Rolando McClain burned his bridges and basically ended his career in Dallas. Now, as the 2017 NFL training camps are starting, Durant has joined the Cowboys once more and looks to play a large role in the team’s emerging defense in 2017.

Justin Durant

Last season, Justin Durant signed his deal to return to the Dallas Cowboys on July 18.

Part of the reason for that was the problems with Rolando McClain left the Cowboys in a tough situation heading into the season and they had to add a player like Durant to help them. This year, it might have been a different reason for the late signing – this time on July 20. Durant is 31-years-old and by waiting till Training Camp to sign with Dallas, he didn’t have to take part in the spring practices.

The Dallas Cowboys know that is not important because Justin Durant knows the Cowboys system and doesn’t need to the spring practices like other players. The Cowboys trust Durant to be ready for training camp and Durant trusts himself to step right onto the field and immediately perform up to expectations.

According to ESPN, as soon as the Cowboys season ended last year in the NFC Championship, the two sides already agreed there would probably be a late offseason call to sign.

The 2017 Cowboys defense

Bringing in Justin Durant strengthens a Dallas Cowboys linebacker corps that also includes superstar Sean Lee, underrated Anthony Hitchens, and Jaylon Smith, who will play his first NFL action this year after sitting out his entire rookie season with injuries.

So, what does this mean for a Cowboys defense that was the cause of their demise in 2016?

In the first practice of training camp, the Dallas Cowboys defense forced three fumbles. In the second day of training camp, the defense intercepted three passes. This was unheard of in 2016 and if the Cowboys defense-heavy draft and over-performing talent can improve on last year, the Cowboys could have another huge season as their only weak point could be healed.

While Justin Durant will only play a role in that, Jason Garrett said that his role in the defense has been “significant” and that he is one of the most productive players on the field for the Cowboys. The improvement so far has to be exciting for Dallas Cowboys fans as they work to make it back to the Super Bowl.