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
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