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DB Aaron Glenn signs with Dallas Cowboys
Glenn reunited with Parcells in Dallas
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
By Len Pasquarelli
The journey from Houston to Dallas, northwest on Interstate 45, isn't all that long a trek. And so it wasn't especially surprising Wednesday, for reasons of brevity and familiarity, that standout cornerback Aaron Glenn completed his NFL relocation in short order.
As anticipated, the three-time Pro Bowl performer signed with the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday, just one day after the Houston Texans released him. The two-year deal, worth $2.76 million, provides Dallas with a quality nickel defender and an insurance policy against any injuries to starters Terence Newman and Anthony Henry.
It also reunites Glenn, 32, with head coach Bill Parcells and secondary coach Todd Bowles, whom he played for during three of his eight seasons with the New York Jets.
Glenn and agent Jimmy Sexton had been granted permission by Texans officials to seek trade opportunities with a limited number of other teams. If potential trade partners were not identified quickly, the veteran cornerback would have been released as early as Tuesday. The Cowboys and the New England Patriots were two of the teams with whom the pair were allowed to speak.
Glenn, who was selected third by the Texans in the 2002 expansion draft, traveled to Dallas on Wednesday morning to meet with Cowboys officials and coaches and to undergo a physical examination. The two sides quickly agreed to a contract.
The 11-year veteran, one of the NFL's top coverage defenders for much of his career, became expendable last week when the Texans acquired three-year veteran cornerback and 2002 first-round draft choice Phillip Buchanon from the Oakland Raiders. The acquisition of Buchanon, who likely will team with second-year standout Dunta Robinson in the starting lineup, gave the Texans two young cornerbacks. Robinson was one of the NFL's top defensive rookies in 2004.
In addition, Demarcus Faggins, who developed into a solid nickel cornerback for the Texans last season, was recently rewarded with a new contract. Houston also signed unrestricted free-agent corner Lewis Sanders several weeks ago.
Other than the suddenly crowded secondary, finances were also a factor in Houston's decision. Glenn had three seasons remaining on his contract and was due base salaries of $4 million (2005), $4.25 million (2006) and $5.5 million (2007).
Glenn will be the No. 3 cornerback for the Cowboys, who are undergoing a major overhaul to a 3-4 defense. Newman, the starter on the left side, was the fifth overall player chosen in the 2003 draft. While his play in 2004 wasn't up the levels that he achieved as a rookie, Newman is still regarded as an improving player. Henry was one of the Cowboys' expensive unrestricted free-agent acquisitions in the first week of this year's signing period.
It remains to be seen how the acquisition of Glenn affects three-year veteran Pete Hunter, who has indicated he would like to be traded.
Although the Cowboys ranked sixth in the NFL in pass defense in '04, they surrendered 31 touchdown passes, the second most in franchise history.
Glenn started all 16 games for the Texans last season, posting 63 tackles, five interceptions and 14 defended passes.
A former Texas A&M standout, Glenn has 35 career interceptions and 142 defended passes, which place him among league leaders in both categories among active players. Glenn has made at least one interception during every season but his 1994 rookie campaign and had five interceptions during three of the last four seasons. Were it not for his suspect hands, Glenn, who has scored five times on interception returns, would probably have close to 50 career pickoffs. His also has 586 career tackles.
Selected by the Jets in the first round in 1994, Glenn moved into the starting lineup as a rookie and has started in all but one of his 164 regular-season appearances. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1997, 1998 and 2002.