Cowboys safety out through camp, likely longer

Dallas Cowboys: Safety Darren Woodson will have surgery on his injured back Tuesday. He will miss all of training camp and likely the start of the regular season.

Woodson, 35, visited a doctor Monday, and the
decision was made to perform surgery to remove a herniated disk. He
will be sidelined six to eight weeks, a period that extends past
the Cowboys' regular-season opener Sept. 12 at Minnesota.

Woodson, going into his 13th season, is the team's career
tackles leader with 1,350 and the only remaining player who was
part of all three Super Bowl wins by the Cowboys in the 1990s. His
99 tackles last season were the third most on the team.

Fourth-year cornerback Tony Dixon or Keith Davis, who spent this
spring in NFL Europe, are the likely candidates to replace Woodson
as the starter during camp.

  • Also on Monday, the Cowboys released defensive tackle Willie Blade and James Whalen, one of six tight ends on the roster. Two more moves have to be made before training camp begins Saturday in Oxnard, Calif. Dallas is expected to release quarterback Chad Hutchinson and put running back Erik Bickerstaff on injured reserve.

    Houston Texans: Safety Marcus Coleman was convicted Monday of a misdemeanor drunken driving charge.

    After deliberating nearly seven hours over two days, a jury
    concluded Coleman was driving while intoxicated when he crashed his
    car in May. The jury will begin considering his punishment on
    Tuesday. Coleman faces up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

    A police video played at the trial showed him stumble when asked
    to walk a straight line and lose his balance when asked to stand on
    one leg.

    Coleman testified he wasn't intoxicated and blamed the crash on
    being distracted while adjusting his car radio. But he refused to
    take a breath test after his arrest, a move that resulted in the
    suspension of his driver's license for six months.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive tackle Max Starks signed a three-year
    contract worth $1.45 million with the team on
    Monday, leaving Pittsburgh with just one unsigned draft pick.

    Starks, a third-round pick, was a left tackle at Florida but
    will get the chance to win a starting job at right tackle. His
    contract included a $530,000 signing bonus.

    Starks' signing leaves the Steelers with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, their first round pick, unsigned.

    The Steelers are hopeful of signing Roethlisberger before or
    shortly after they open training camp Friday in Latrobe.

    Buffalo Bills: Third-round draft choice Tim Anderson reached an agreement with the Bills.

    Anderson, a 6-foot-3, 307-pound defensive tackle, was a three-year starter with Ohio State, helping the Buckeyes to the 2002 national championship. He was the only defensive player chosen by the Bills in the draft.

    No contract terms were revealed.

    The Bills still have to hash out contracts with wide receiver Lee Evans of Wisconsin and quarterback J.P. Losman of Tulane. Evans was the team's first pick in the first round draft, Losman was the second selection in round one.

    Philadelphia Eagles: Cornerback Dexter Wynn and quarterback Andy
    Hall signed four-year contracts with the Eagles on Monday, one day before rookies are to report for training camp.

    Wynn, a sixth-round draft pick, was a three-year starter at Colorado State. Hall, picked ahead of Wynn in the same round, led Delaware to the 2003 Division I-AA national title.

    The signings leave the Eagles with five unsigned draft picks,
    including right guard Shane Andrews, the 16th overall selection.

    Wynn recorded 175 tackles, five sacks, and four interceptions in
    36 games. He also returned 73 kickoffs for 1,967 yards (29.0
    average) and two touchdowns, and had 91 punt returns for 1,385
    yards (15.2 average) and one TD.

    Hall completed 393 of 684 passes for 4,596 yards, 34 TDs and 12
    INTs in 27 games for the Blue Hens.

    Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals claimed punter Eddie Johnson off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings, who replaced him in the

    Johnson was the Vikings' sixth-round pick out of Idaho State
    last year, but averaged only 39.1 yards and muffed snaps in three
    consecutive games. One fumble set up a Chicago field goal in the
    Bears' 13-10 win Dec. 14.

    The Vikings signed free agent punter Darren Bennett to a
    two-year deal in March.

    Kyle Richardson became the Bengals' punter last season, and has
    a year left on his contract. The Bengals also signed punter Kyle
    Larson from Nebraska as an undrafted free agent last April.

    Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens reached an agreement on a five-year contract with defensive end Dwan Edwards, assuring that the their first draft pick will be uniform for the first practice of training camp.

    Edwards, selected in the second round with the 51st overall
    pick, is expected to report to camp Thursday and begin practice
    with the rest of the team Friday.

    The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Edwards, who played tackle at Oregon
    State, had 159 tackles over a four-year career. He also had 12 1/2
    sacks and recovered three fumbles.

    The Ravens also signed third-round pick Devard Darling to a
    three-year deal, and reached agreement with fifth-round selection
    Roderick Green on a three-year contract.

    Darling is a wide receiver and Green is a linebacker.

    Only Derek Abney (7th round, 244th overall), and Clarence Moore
    (6th round, 199th overall) have not agreed to contracts. The Ravens
    did not have a first-round pick in 2004.

    Chicago Bears: Fifth-round draft pick Claude Harriott agreed to terms Monday on a four-year contract.

    The defensive end from Pittsburgh is the fifth of Chicago's
    eight draft choices to reach an agreement. The Bears report to
    training camp Tuesday night in Bourbonnais.

    Still unsigned is top pick Tommie Harris, a defensive tackle
    from Oklahoma; third-round selection Bernard Berrian, a wide
    receiver from Fresno State, and the team's other fifth-rounder,
    Craig Krenzel, a quarterback from Ohio State.