Henson's contract will guarantee him at least $3.5 million. He will earn a base salary of $238,000 in 2004, but if he plays 15% of the time, he will receive $3.5 million immediately and the deal will void to four seasons.
If he plays 70% of the time in any of his first three seasons, then his base salary will increase by $1 million.
"I'd love to step in and play," said Henson after his workout last month. "If it will benefit me and the team to back someone up and learn behind someone for a bit, I'm open to that. Whatever that is going to help the team be successful in the long run is what I'll take."
Henson last played football 4 years ago at Michigan, completing 61% of his passes for 2,146 yards and 18 touchdowns, to go along with 4 interceptions.
His rights were controlled by the Texans after the team drafted him in the sixth round last year, hasn't played in a football game since the 2000 season for the Michigan Wolverines.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Thursday that he expects to "compete."
"We want to be realistic, and I want to be realistic about how fast he can come along after that layoff, but this is really about competing," said Jones.
Henson will enter the Cowboys' first mini-camp behind Quincy Carter, Tony Romo, and Chad Hutchinson, but don't expect that current depth chart to last long.
With an 8-year contract in place, Henson will likely force the Cowboys to drop at least one of their current signal callers, most likely Hutchinson.
Henson Deal Complete
CowboysHQ Top Stories
Cowboys David Irving Fails Drug TestPromising Dallas Cowboys Defensive Lineman David Irving Fails Drug Test, Will Appeal, Reports Fish
Cowboys OTAs Preview: Step-Ups + ShowdownsDallas Cowboys OTAs Preview, Today Inside The Star In Frisco: 3 Step-Ups And 3 Showdowns
On Eve Of Cowboys OTAs, Witten's 'All In'Jason Witten talks of a commitment to make his community better, a commitment to making the Dallas Cowboys' present chances of competing for a Super Bowl better, and a commitment…
CowboysHQYesterday at 2:55 AM
Cowboys 1st+10: Dallas and Kaepernick? NoIn this edition of Dallas Cowboys 1st and 10, we wrap up the week with some Colin Kaepernick talk, and why the Cowboys likely aren't interested in him.
CowboysHQSunday at 6:43 AM