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Mid-Day Report: Williams Signs Five-Year Deal

What's The Scoop:
The Cowboys signed tight end Jason Witten to a new seven-year contract before training camp began. Now they've ensured safety Roy Williams will stay with the team through the end of the decade, possibly even the remainder of his career.

Williams signed a five-year, $25.2 million deal with a guaranteed $11.1 million before Wednesday's morning practice. The three-time Pro Bowl safety had been entering the final year of his deal before receiving this four-year extension.

"He probably is the second-most visible player we've got on this team right now, Terrell (Owens) being the first," Cowboys owner-general manager Jerry Jones said of Williams after the morning practice in Oxnard, Calif. "Roy through his play brings leadership and basically will be one of the main signatures on our defense."

The Cowboys signed Witten to a six-year extension worth nearly $28 million that included $12 million in guaranteed money. The club had been working on this four-year extension for Williams when training camp started.

Williams earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance in 2005 after finishing second on the team with 82 tackles and three interceptions.

"I think his awareness of the game is better," Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells said. "I think his vision on the field is better. I think just overall he's a better player, a better working knowledge of what's going on."

Jones said there's a chance inside linebacker Bradie James, also in the final year of his deal, could receive an extension before camp ends.

But right now, Williams is the most recent veteran the Cowboys have locked up for the foreseeable future.

"It's a real blessing for me," Williams said after practice of his new deal. "They have shown me nothing but love and respect."

Quick Shots:

  • Kicker Mike Vanderjagt missed Wednesday's morning practice with an illness.
  • Running back Marion Barber fumbled a carry during team drills, drawing a long stare from Parcells as he left the field. On his next run, Barber held on to the ball even as his helmet popped off.
  • Rookie defensive end Stephen Bowen turned some heads in one-on-one drills when he blew past Jason Fabini and Stephen Peterman on consecutive plays.
  • Former Cowboys cornerback Bruce Thornton was released by the 49ers on Tuesday. Thornton started 11 games last year in San Francisco, finishing with 40 tackles and two interceptions.

You Should've Seen:
Rookie tight end Anthony Fasano made a leaping catch in traffic during team drills. Fasano trotted toward the sideline after catching Drew Bledsoe's high pass, but Parcells called him back to the huddle. The offensive players tapped the second-round pick on the helmet before he went back to the sideline.

Who's Hot:
Marc Colombo took snaps at first-team right tackle and continued to play well. Jason Fabini worked with the second group, and last year's starter Rob Petitti took third-team snaps. Parcells said he's simply rotating players right now, but thinks Colombo is making progress.

Who's Not:
Kickers Shaun Suisham and Tyler Fredrickson didn't do much to impress the coaching staff with Vanderjagt out of practice. Suisham made 2-of-6 field-goal attempts and Fredrickson missed all kicks from 42 yards and two from 47.

Injury Update:
S Justin Beriault, mild concussion - expected to miss next few days (7/31)
DE Marcus Spears, knee (meniscus) - had knee scoped (7/30)

Missed Practice:
S Justin Beriault (concussion)
K Mike Vanderjagt (illness)
DE Marcus Spears (knee surgery)

Returned to Practice:

DE Vontrell Jamison, released (8/2)
DE Jason Davis, signed (8/1)
LB J.J. Horne, released (7/31)
WR Ahmad Merritt, released (7/31)
CB Byron Parker, released (7/31)
TE Brett Pierce, placed on injured reserve (7/31)
T Flozell Adams moved from PUP to active roster (7/30)
LB Bobby Carpenter, signed (7/29)
T E.J. Whitley, placed on injured reserve (7/29)
T Flozell Adams, placed on active PUP (7/28)
S Darrell Brooks, released (7/28)
G Shannon Snell, released (7/28)

Top BILL-ing:
"You got to go front and back. The other job he just had to go front. Got to be a two-trick pony as opposed to a one-trick pony." - Parcells on Greg Ellis transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker.

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