IRVING, Texas, March 1 (UPI) -- Free agency and salary cap restrictions have prevented many star players from finishing their careers where they started. But Darren Woodson may be an exception.
The Dallas Cowboys Friday signed their five-time Pro Bowl strong safety to a five-year contract worth $20 million with a $4 million signing bonus.
"I'm so excited about today because this is my home and this is where it all started and where it will end someday," Woodson said at a news conference. "I didn't want to go anywhere else. I've always felt I'd be a Dallas Cowboy forever."
Woodson, who turns 33 in April, has spent his entire 10-year career with the Cowboys. He played for three Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1990s and is 59 tackles shy of surpassing former linebacker Lee Roy Jordan as the franchise's all-time leading tackler.
"I've never been a big stats guy," Woodson said. "But the last few weeks, I've been able to look back and see some of these goals that I have attainable. I would love to be the all-time leading tackler for the Cowboys. That would mean a lot."
Last season, Woodson had three interceptions and finished third on the team with 131 tackles, giving him 1,178 for his career. The Cowboys ranked fourth in the NFL on defense, but finished last in the NFC East with a 5-11 record.
"Darren Woodson is a Pro Bowl player and it's a shame he wasn't there last year," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "We know how to fix that and that's to win more games."
The signing came a day after the Cowboys released George Teague, who was the team's starting free safety for the last three years.
But more than $9 million under the salary cap, the Cowboys are expected to be active in the free agent market and designated tackle Flozell Adams as a franchise player, obligating them to pay him $4.9 million for the upcoming season.