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Saints, Cowboys work trade

NEW ORLEANS, April 26 -- The New Orleans Saints acquired cornerback Kevin Mathis from the Dallas Cowboys Wednesday for linebacker Chris Bordano.

Mathis, a 5-9, 181-pounder, played in eight games -- with four starts -- last season and had 16 tackles.

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He also returned 43 kickoffs for 1,029 yards, a 23.9-yard average over the past two seasons.

Even with the imminent departure of Deion Sanders, Mathis became expendable when the Cowboys drafted defensive backs Dwayne Goodrich, Kareem Larrimore and Mario Edwards earlier this month.

Mathis started the final four games of the 1998 season and the ensuing wild card playoff game and totaled three interceptions -- one in the postseason contest. He played in all 16 games as a rookie in 1997, starting the final three in place of an injured Sanders.

The 6-1, 241-pound Bordano was a sixth-round draft choice of the Saints in 1998 and played in 16 games, starting six at middle linebacker and registering 62 tackles. He had 59 tackles in 15 games -- 12 starts -- last season.

Dallas was looking for depth at linebacker since Randall Godfrey signed as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans. The Cowboys also added linebacker Orantes Grant in the seventh round of the draft.

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