Cornerback Mario Edwards signed a six-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, ending a four-year stint with the Cowboys. Agent Jordan Woy said his client is excited to be going back to Florida, where he starred at Florida State.
Edwards will likely be the third cornerback behind starters Brian Kelly and Ronde Barber.
Woy also said Edwards passed up starting opportunities with other teams, including the Cowboys, because he felt the Tampa Bay situation was best for him long term.
"We looked at it long term and short term," Woy said. "We did have conversations with the Cowboys before we signed off on it. We felt this was the best way to go."
Woy said the Tampa Bay coaches felt Edwards would play a major role as an outside cornerback on passing downs.
The Cowboys entered the offseason hoping to get an upgrade from Edwards because of mediocre production. He has only four career interceptions, including just one last season and was frequently targeted for big plays.
However, with the talent pool diminished because all of the quality free agents signed with other teams, the Cowboys also considered bringing Edwards back.
Now, they would do well hoping to get someone as reliable as the four-year veteran, who started 47 of the team's last 48 games. Edwards' departure leaves unproven Pete Hunter and career-nickel corner Donald Mitchell as possible replacements on the right side. The Cowboys will address the position in the draft and when the second round of free agency begins on June 1st.
Veteran TE in Valley Ranch
The Cowboys visited with veteran tight end Marco Battaglia April 7 at Valley Ranch, though it's not clear when or if they will offer him a contract.
The Cowboys have a solid 1-2 punch at tight end with Dan Campbell and Jason Witten.
Battaglia, an eight-year veteran, is a career reserve with just 11 starts. He also is more of a blocker, catching only 71 passes during his career, and just one in the past three years. A final decision won't be made until after the draft.
* RB Davy Ford, who had been allocated to NFL Europe, was waived. He had been bothered by a hip pointer.
* Former Cowboys defensive Tony Casillas has been named one of the 2004 inductees to the College Football hall of fame.
* With Larry Allen being a no show at the offseason program, he is likely headed to be a June 1 cut -- that is if the Cowboys can't trade him on draft day. The Cowboys will look to address guard and tackle in the draft and the second phase of free agency in June. Allen got a $13 million signing bonus as a part of a six-year, $36-million contract extension in 2002. His cap figure for 2004 is $5.5, including a $3.5 million base salary.
If the Cowboys cut or traded him before June 1, it would cost them $8.2 million in dead money, roughly $3 million more than his current cap value.
If they waited until after June 1, it would cost them $2.06 million in 2004, actually saving them roughly $3.4 million off the cap in 2004. But it would count $6.2 million in 2005.
The cap impact would be the same if Allen retired.
The Cowboys are believed to be shopping Allen for at least a second or third round draft pick.
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