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Cowboys FINALLY sign someone...
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Old 11 Mar 2004, 05:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cowboys FINALLY sign someone...

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys finally became players in the free agency market Thursday, signing defensive end Marcellus Wiley to a $16 million, four-year deal that includes a $4.5 million bonus.


"It offers him the opportunity to start for a potential Super Bowl team with a Hall of Fame coach in Bill Parcells," agent Leigh Steinberg said.


The two sides visited for much of the day Wednesday and the session went so well that Wiley extended his visit and negotiations began in the evening. By morning it was fairly obvious there would be an accord and one was finalized a few hours later.


The deal includes base salaries of $660,000 (for 2004), $2 million (2005), $4.34 million (2006) and $4 million (2007). There is a $500,000 roster bonus for 2005 and the fourth year of the contract can be voided if Wiley is named to the Pro Bowl or has 11 sacks in any of the first three years of the deal.


To accommodate Wiley, the Cowboys will shift former first-round pick Greg Ellis from the left defensive end position to the right side. The acquisition of Wiley should allow the Cowboys more flexibility in the draft to use their first-round pick (22nd overall) for a running back or quarterback.


A seven-year veteran and former Buffalo Bills second-round draft choice (1997), Wiley has clearly been on the decline the last few years. He signed a six-year, $40 million deal with the Chargers in '01 as an unrestricted free agent, posted 13 sacks in his initial season in San Diego and was named to the Pro Bowl.


Wiley has only nine sacks the past two seasons, despite not missing a game. Ironically, former Dallas defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban, who signed with Cleveland on Wednesday night after a year in which he often was criticized by Cowboys coaches, had just a half-sack less in 2003.


Wiley has 41 sacks in seven seasons, four with Buffalo and three with San Diego. The Chargers cut him last week to clear room under the salary cap. Wiley had only three sacks last season, his worst since being shut out as a rookie.


The Cowboys had just 32 sacks in 2003, including just 12 from their ends, and seem to be gambling that Wiley can return to his previous form.


Wiley is the first major addition the Cowboys have made since the signing and trading period began last Tuesday, although it wasn't for a lack of trying.


Several players they pursued signed elsewhere and a proposed deal for receiver Keyshawn Johnson is likely to happen, but remains on hold.

espn.com
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all I got to say is finally!

They finally addressed some needs. I think this was a good pick-up. Hopefully there is more to come...
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Old 11 Mar 2004, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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well, they finally stepped into the market.....albeit not too deeply yet.....a solid pickup for your Cowboys.....
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Old 11 Mar 2004, 05:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice move by Jerry. Wiley makes up for Eukban.
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Old 11 Mar 2004, 05:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Eukban was garbage. He was a huge bust. I believe he was dafted 12th overall (or something like that).
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