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Cowboys agree to deal with fourth-round LB Anthony Hitchens

Linebacker is running with first-team defense since Sean Lee tore anterior cruciate ligament Aaron Wilson

Print This June 01, 2014, 08:50 AM EST

The Dallas Cowboys have hammered out a deal with the rookie linebacker who may step into a starting role with veteran starter Sean Lee sidelined with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Fourth-round linebacker Anthony Hitchens has agreed to terms on a four-year contract, according to a source. Hitchens has been running with the first-team defense since Lee got hurt last week during an organized team activity.

The Cowboys were unable to land Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first round as he went to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the Cowboys wound up with Hitchens in the fourth round.

Hitchens averaged 8.6 tackles per game in the Big Ten Conference for Iowa.

He led the Hawkeyes with 112 tackles, 13.5 tackles for losses, an interception and two forced fumbles.

He was named the Hawkeyes' Most Valuable Player last season and won the Hayden Fry "Extra Heartbeat" award.

The 6-foot, 240-pounder was a high school running back who rushed for 3,864 yards and 52 touchdowns.

He played safety, linebacker and running back as a true freshman before settling in a starting linebacker

He had 124 tackles in 2012.

Hitchens is known as a hard hitter with good instincts and aggressiveness.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

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