Witten inks four-year deal with Cowboys

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com
The contract has been turned in, now all Jason Witten has to do is battle through the Dallas Cowboys training camp in San Antonio.
The Elizabethton native and Cowboys third-round pick officially signed his contract late Friday afternoon, a four-year deal worth $2.04 million, with a $670,000 signing bonus.
The fourth year would be voided if the minimum playing time numbers are met, and the Cowboys have the option to buy back the final year.
Dallas also signed fourth-round pick linebacker Bradie James of LSU, and both players began training camp practice on Saturday.
"We waived two players last night, which puts our squad at 83," Bill Parcells said in a press conference Saturday. "We have signed, and have turned into the league, the contracts of Witten and Bradie James. All 83 players practiced today and they all seemed to be OK. That's where we are right now."
The cuts of safety Keith Davis and kicker Ola Kimrin made room for the two signings, Davis being cut because he disobeyed Parcells' wish not to attend strip clubs.
The Cowboys began training camp with all of their draft picks signed.
Dallas signed their first-round pick, Kansas State cornerback Terrence Newman, to a seven-year deal before the camp began as well.
Witten and James' deals took some time because Dallas gave Newman a $13 million signing bonus.
James earned a $415,000 signing bonus with his five-year, $2.33 million deal. His term may also be voided to three-years with playing time incentives.
Witten led Tennessee in overall receiving from the tight end position last season with 39 grabs for 439 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 38 yards per game and 13 yards per catch during his final year with the Volunteers.
Dallas experts believe Witten will see plenty of action this season. Cowboys fans have littered Internet sites calling Jason the 'next Jay Novacek.'
The team will continue two-a-day practices until Saturday's scrimmage with the Houston Texans. The Cowboys battle Arizona, Houston, Pittsburgh and Oakland during the preseason before their season opener at home against Atlanta.