Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba has earned a return to the NFL after agreeing a contract with the Dallas Cowboys. The 27-year old had been in discussions with a number of teams from south of the border, finally deciding to accept a deal that will see him link up with the Cowboys in time for pre-season training. The 27-year old was available as a free agent after he was released by the Montreal Alouettes in February, ending a short-term stay with the franchise after returning to the CFL.
Muamba’s recent stay in Canada might have been a brief one but it was enough to prove to a host of NFL teams that he was worth adding to their roster. The linebacker, who signed for the Indianapolis Colts in 2014, made 13 appearances in the NFL during his first spell before being released in September of 2015. The Congolese-born Canadian wasn’t on the free market for long, signing a lucrative deal with the Als that saw him record 14 tackles and one interception in four appearances for Montreal.
Having been unlucky in his first stint in the NFL, Muamba will be desperate to establish himself on this Cowboys roster this year. Long-tipped to make it to the NFL, Muamba has been a clear stand-out throughout his career in Canada. Having been selecting number-one overall in the 2011 CFL Draft, the rookie spent the majority of his first season playing special teams. In 2012, though, the youngster proved just why he was so highly regarded coming out of college, making 65 tackles and three sacks.
2013 was Muamba’s real breakthrough campaign, though, with the linebacker responsible for 106 tackles, one sack, one interception, one fumble recovery AND a defensive touchdown – unsurprisingly earning his CFL All-Star honours for the season. A year in Indianapolis followed for Muamba, where he made just six tackles in 13 appearances, forced to spend most of his time as a special teams player. It looked as though the Canadian had done enough to earn an extended stay with the Colts, but Indianapolis’ loss has been Dallas’ gain, and the Cowboys could well have pulled off a very smart piece of business.
The Cowboys are expected to be contenders next season, currently priced at around 7/4 with the Bet365 football betting odds, and Muamba is joining a roster full of star-studded names. That said, the Canadian has shown what he is capable of throughout his time in the CFL, and looked comfortable during his first sting in the NFL. Joining a team the size of the Cowboys isn’t something all players deal with, but at 27-years old you’d like to think the linebacker has enough about him to be able to handle the pressure that comes with playing for one of sport’s most recognisable names.
Both the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers had been interested in signing Muamba, and the linebacker is just the latest in a number of former CFL players that will be plying their trade in the NFL next season.