|Thursday, October 11
Updated: October 12, 8:10 PM ET
Leaf signs three-year deal with Cowboys
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' seven-month courtship of quarterback Ryan Leaf ended Friday when he signed a three-year, $2 million contract.
Team owner Jerry Jones said Leaf is interested in making the most of the opportunity that opened because of starter Quincy Carter's hamstring injury Sunday.
Jones said Leaf will be in uniform for Monday night's game against Washington. Leaf, drafted No. 2 overall by San Diego in 1998, will come in as the third quarterback but could move up the depth chart.
Team officials said Leaf's deal includes no signing bonus. He will get an NFL-minimum salary the first two seasons worth $1 million. His pay will be $1 million in 2003.
"Ryan is not into maximizing his money right now," Jones said. "As far as his contract is concerned, he's more about making the team and getting things going in his career."
The Cowboys were interested in signing Leaf seven months ago, when the Chargers dumped him after three disappointing seasons.
Leaf turned Dallas down and went to Tampa Bay, where he failed to make the roster. The Cowboys again tried to sign him in September, but a damaged ligament in his throwing wrist caused him to fail a physical.
"This was a relationship that was started in the spring, and it's something that developed over time," Leaf said. "And, you know, if I never would have come to Dallas, I think I would still call Mr. Jones one of my friends."
Team officials were impressed when Leaf worked out for them again Thursday. Head coach Dave Campo said the wrist injury was not a major concern.
"We had him throw, and we felt real good about what we saw," Campo said.
Carter, a rookie, will be out 4-to-6 weeks after tearing his left hamstring against Oakland.