Will Herring leaves Saints, heads to Cowboys

Will Herring, a backup linebacker and special-teams captain for the Saints in 2013, is leaving New Orleans in free agency and headed to the Dallas Cowboys, he announced on his verified Twitter account on Thursday.

“I wish my former teammates and the Saints best of luck!” wrote Herring, who expressed his gratitude to the team he had been on since 2011. “Blessed to be playing in the Big D this year and to be a part of (the) Cowboys organization!”

Numerous media reports said Herring agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Dallas, whose defense was ranked last in 2013 and in a Nov. 10 road loss to the Saints allowed New Orleans to amass an NFL-record 40 first downs and a franchise-best 625 total yards of offense. The deal was reportedly pending a physical.

Herring led the Saints’ special teams unit with seven tackles, and he forced a fumble.

Rotating in at inside linebacker on defense, he intercepted a pass in a Week 4 win vs. Miami and had six solo tackles.

This is the fourth time in five seasons that New Orleans parts ways with its special-teams captain from the previous year. Troy Evans was cut in 2010; Pierson Prioleau was released in 2011; and Courtney Roby was let go prior to the 2013 season.