Cowboys Sign Wiley

The Dallas Cowboys have come to terms with free agent defensive end Marcellus Wiley. The announcement comes just a day after former free agent defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban signed with the Cleveland Browns.

Marcellus Wiley is now a Dallas Cowboy.

After meeting with team officials in Valley Ranch including talks with Bill Parcells and a physical the last 2 days, the two sides reached an agreement Thursday afternoon.

"The Cowboys are synonymous with success," said Wiley at the press conference announcing his signing. "They are a team on the rise. I want to be a part of it."

The former San Diego Charger signed a four-year, $16 million contract that includes a $4.5 million signing bonus.

Wiley who is now 29, will get a base salaries of $660,000 in 2004, $2 million in 2005, $4.34 million in 2006, and $4 million in 2007. There is a $500,000 roster bonus next season, and the 4th year of the contract can be voided if he is named to the Pro Bowl or has 11 sacks in any of the first 3 years.

Marcellus Wiley has seen his production decline the last two seasons, but there's little doubt he's an upgrade over Ebenezer Ekuban.
The Cowboys were stung somewhat by the loss of Ebenezer Ekuban earlier in the week, but by all accounts, Wiley is a signficant upgrade.

Ekuban registered just 13 sacks in 5 years in Dallas, while Wiley recorded 23 in just two seasons in 2000 & 2001.

Those numbers were of prime importance to Bill Parcells, who admitted time after time last season that he needed a better playmaking, turnover-producing pass rush.

Wiley, despite numbers that have steadily dropped the last two seasons, said that he still has plenty left in the tank.

"I am still young," said Wiley. "I am going to work hard to show my talents. The Cowboys gave me a platform to do that."

"I am on a mission to prove that I am still a dominant player."

With the addition of Wiley, Jerry Jones said that the needs of the team through the rest of the offseason will focus on the offensive line, running back, cornerback, and a backup quarterback (in that order).

Wiley was also drawing interest from Jacksonville, Atlanta and Chicago.


Defensive end Marcellus Wiley, left, reacts to a question during a news conference at the Dallas Cowboys offices.

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