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How Former Utah Linebacker Francis Bernard Will Fit In With Dallas Cowboys

Utah Utes linebacker Francis Bernard (13) celebrates a stop against the Idaho State Bengals during NCAA football in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah linebacker Francis Bernard has a great opportunity to work his way up the depth chart with the Dallas Cowboys.

Bernard signed with the Cowboys as a priority free agent.

The Cowboys play a 4-3 defensive scheme with three linebackers. According to and, Bernard is currently listed as the third string middle linebacker behind Jaylon Smith and Luke Gifford. ESPN has Justin March as the backup middle linebacker with Ourlads putting Gifford as the backup.

He will wear No. 44 for the Cowboys.

Linebackers On Roster

Jaylon Smith is the clear cut starting linebacker for the Cowboys. Smith is in the middle of his six-year contract with the Cowboys. He will enter his second season of the deal and will have a potential out after the 2021 season. If he stays in Dallas after 2021, he will have four more years left on the contract.

Gifford will enter the second year of his three-year contract. He joined the Cowboys during the 2019 season as an undrafted free agent. March signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys this past off-season.

The Cowboys did not pick a linebacker in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Contract Details

According to, Bernard agreed to a three-year deal worth $2,295,000. His signing bonus is $10,000. His base salary this season will be $610,000 and will use $613,333 of the Cowboys’ cap this season.

Bernard agreed to a contract with the Cowboys shortly after the NFL Draft.


Bernard has had to work for everything he has earned. It won’t be different in Dallas. With the backup middle linebacker entering the second to last year of his deal, this is a prime opportunity for Bernard to snatch that spot in training camp and during the season.

He has the ability and skill set to play linebacker in the NFL because he is athletic, tough and very smart on the football field. I think Bernard will be the backup middle linebacker by the middle of the 2020 NFL season.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.