Cowboys Sign QB Chad Hutchinson

The Cowboys have signed free agent quarterback Chad Hutchinson to a seven-year contract with a $3.1 million signing bonus, the team announced Saturday.

Hutchinson, a star quarterback in the mid 1990's with the Stanford Cardinal, has been playing professional baseball with the St. Louis Cardinal's organization for the last 4 years. He threw for more than 2,000 yards in both 1996 and 1997.

Hutchinson started 23 games overall for Stanford in 1996 and '97, and completed 379 of 627 passes for 4,235 yards, with 22 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He also was voted the MVP in the 1996 Sun Bowl game.

Hutchinson's pro-rated signing bonus will count a little more than $400,000 against this year's rookie pool, which is the equivalent of a mid- to low first-round pick.

The Cowboys now have five quarterbacks on their roster: Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner and now Hutchinson.

Quincy Carter figures to be the staring quarterback heading into training camp next summer with Clint Stoerner and Anthony Wright probably being the odd men out.

"I don't think it's going to be an immediate competition, because we feel like (Hutchinson) will need maybe two seasons to get back to where he was," Jerry Jones said.

"We still go training camp with Quincy as the starter."

Hutchinson is known for having a strong arm with great accuracy and a very competitive spirit. He'll be gauranteed $4 million over the first 3 years of his contract, at which time Dallas will have the opportunity to void it, pending his performance.

It is believed that Hutchinson also had offers on the table from the Bears and the Redskins.

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