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Dallas Cowboys sign former Chargers DE Olshansky

09:10 PM CST on Friday, March 6, 2009

By BRIAN DAVIS and TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News
brdavis@dallasnews.com | tarcher@dallasnews.com

IRVING – The Cowboys filled a large vacancy on their defensive line Friday by signing former San Diego Chargers defensive end Igor Olshansky.

The Ukraine-born Olshansky received a four-year deal worth $18 million with approximately $8 million guaranteed.

Like linebackers Keith Brooking and Matt Stewart, two other Cowboys additions this off-season, Olshansky (6-6, 309) has a history with coach Wade Phillips, who was his defensive coordinator for three seasons in San Diego.

With defensive tackle Chris Canty leaving via free agency for the New York Giants on a six-year, $42 million deal last week, the Cowboys acted quickly on Olshansky. He visited Thursday and signed Friday.

In 75 games with the Chargers, Olshansky, a second-round pick in 2004, was credited by the coaches with 151 tackles and 11 sacks. In 64 games with the Cowboys, Canty had 197 tackles and 10 sacks

The Cowboys now have Olshansky, Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen (restricted free agent) and Marcus Dixon, who spent last season on the practice squad, at defensive end. Jay Ratliff earned Pro Bowl honors at nose tackle but also can play defensive end.

T.O., Williams' future: The agents for Terrell Owens and Roy Williams started looking for new teams for their clients Friday. The Cowboys released both players Thursday.

Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told several national media outlets that he expects to have a new deal in place for Owens "by the end of next week if not sooner." Rosenhaus declined to name the teams he's negotiating with.

Williams' agent, Jordan Woy, said five teams appear to be interested in the five-time Pro Bowl safety. Williams plans on lining up some visits and moving forward next week.

Briefly: Running back Felix Jones said he just started running as he goes through rehabilitation from toe surgery. "I believe here in the next couple of weeks, I'll be 100 percent," Jones said on 105.3 FM's The Fan.


Age: 26

Pos: Defensive end

Ht., wt: 6-6. 309

College: Oregon

Notable: Pronounced (E-gor ol-SHAN-ski) ... Olshansky will be entering his sixth NFL season. ... His best season was 2007 when he had 49 tackles and 3 ½ sacks. ... Was selected by the Chargers in the second round of the 2004 draft with the 35th overall pick. ... At Oregon, he set a team record by bench pressing 505 pounds.

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