The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly on the verge of inking a UFL star to a contract. St. Louis Battlehawks defensive standout and linebacker Willie Harvey Jr. has plans to sign with the NFC East division franchise, as reported on Tuesday morning by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

“All-UFL LB Willie Harvey Jr. plans to sign with the #Cowboys, per source.”

In a separate post, Pelissero noted that the Cowboys are not just the only NFL team interested in Harvey.

“Harvey had interest from several other teams. But last week’s workout with Dallas went well and now he’ll be signing once his UFL release is official.”

Harvey turned heads with his stellar play with the Battlehawks in the 2024 UFL campaign during which he led the entire league with a total of 78 tackles. He also recorded four sacks while his production of nine tackles for loss was the most by any UFC linebackers this year. In addition, Harvey had nine passes defended and two forced fumbles. The quality of the competition in the UFL is far from that in the NFL, but Harvey has seemingly done just enough to impress the Cowboys, who could use some depth in the linebacker position.

Dallas has added the likes of Eric Kendricks and Damien Wilson to the linebacker room in the offseason. They also used a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to take Notre Dame Fighting Irish product Marist Liufau. Nevertheless, the Cowboys apparently think there's still space for them to further address their linebacker depth situation.

Cowboys giving UFL star a shot at the NFL again

Cleveland Browns linebacker Willie Harvey Jr. (54) on the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Harvey isn't without NFL experience. However, he only saw minimal action in the league before taking his talents to the XFL with the Battlehawks. Harvey did not hear his name called in the 2019 NFL Draft but the Cleveland Browns signed him as an undrafted free agent. The former Iowa St. Cyclones star played just two games for the Browns in 2019 and two more in 2021, seeing just a total of 48 snaps on those occasions — all as part of the special teams.

Harvey, who turned 28 years old last January, was named to the 2024 All-UFL team last June, which gave his football resume a nice boost. Back in college, Harvey recorded 289 combined tackles, 31.0 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, an interception, 10 passes defended, three fumble recoveries, and five forced fumbles through 49 games in four years in Ames.

Having seemingly worked his way back into the NFL, Harvey's goal is to further impress the Cowboys in the offseason to earn a spot on the final roster.

Harvey can also take some inspiration from another Cowboy who used to star in a different football league in the form of wide receiver KaVontae Turpin. After winning the Most Valuable Player award in the first season of the USFL, Turpin found himself inking a deal with the Cowboys. He has since parlayed that chance to play in the NFL into a three-year $2.56 million contract with Dallas and a Pro Bowl nod in the 2022 season.

The Cowboys, who recorded a 12-5 record in the last season and topped the NFC East for the second time in three years, finished inside the top 10 in 2023 with just 20.2 points allowed per game. They weer also eighth overall in the league with a 7.99 percent defensive sack rate and fifth with only 192.1 passing yards given up per contest.