February 23, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Citing a desire to play for the team he grew up rooting for, ex-Dolphins inside linebacker Zach Thomas has agreed to terms with the Dallas Cowboys, his agent Drew Rosenhaus announced Saturday afternoon at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowl pick who was released by Miami last week, received a one-year deal from the Cowboys that could be worth as much as $3 million. The contract calls for a $1 million signing bonus, $1 million in base salary, and $1 million worth of incentives.

Thomas spurned offers from the Patriots and Saints in order to join the Cowboys. Buffalo, Houston and the Jets had also expressed interest in Thomas, a 12-year NFL veteran who will be 35 by the time the 2008 regular season opens. The Patriots were the first team Thomas visited, on Monday, and sources said that New England was confident that it had Thomas all but signed.

But Rosenhaus said that Thomas felt the opportunity to play for his hometown team -- he grew up in Pampa, Tex., and played at Texas Tech -- was too great to pass up.

Thomas played in just five games in 2007, after suffering from a concussion and headaches from early in the season on. He was placed on the injured reserve in December, and released on Feb. 14. He traveled to Indianapolis to meet with Cowboys officials on Friday, and agreed to terms Saturday morning.

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