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Cowboys re-sign left tackle Adams to protect Romo

IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo won't have to worry about who is protecting his blind side. His faith will remain in Flozell Adams.

The Dallas Cowboys re-signed the four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Thursday afternoon, hours before he would've hit the open market in free agency. The NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports the agreement is for six years and $43.8 million, including $13 million in guaranteed money. The deal likely guarantees Adams will finish his career in Dallas.

"I'm just really happy to be here," Adams told the team's Web site. Asked if he considered leaving Dallas, he added, "Nope. Not at all."

Also Thursday, the Cowboys moved to keep three of their restricted free agents, putting tenders on Pro Bowl running back Marion Barber ($2.56 million, the highest), defensive end Chris Canty ($2.017 million) and guard Joe Berger ($927,000).

Running back Tyson Thompson, who lost his job as a kick returner late in the season, was not tendered, freeing him to sign wherever he wants.

Barber and Canty can still look around for better deals, but a team would have to give Dallas its first- and third-round picks to get Barber and a first-rounder for Canty. Dallas also would first have a week to match any offer.

In another move Thursday, the Cowboys formally announced the signing of linebacker Zach Thomas, whose $3.3 million, one-year deal was agreed to last week. Fullback Oliver Hoyte, who gave Thomas a concussion when he was with Miami last season, was released.

Adams joined the Cowboys as a second-round pick in 1998. He and linebacker Greg Ellis are the team's longest-tenured players.

The 6-foot-7, 340-pounder has been a stalwart at left tackle his entire career. His ability to fend off blockers has been credited with helping Romo develop into one of the NFL's top passers in only 1 1/2 seasons, and helped Dallas set all sorts of club records for yards and scoring last year.

Adams, who turns 33 in May, made the Pro Bowl in four of the last five seasons, missing only in 2005 when a knee injury cost him 10 games. Those are the only games he's missed in his 10-year career.

Adams just finished a five-year, $25 million deal. Had he become a free agent, the Cowboys may have faced competition from the Miami Dolphins, who are coached by former Dallas line coach Tony Sparano, whose arrival sparked Adams' career. Bill Parcells was coaching the Cowboys then, and he's now running Miami's front office.

While offensive coordinator Jason Garrett likely will be as happy as Romo that this deal is done, special teams coaches can celebrate, too -- Adams has blocked a club-record four extra points in his career. He's also blocked three field goals.

Dallas has four other players headed to free agency: Running back Julius Jones, safety Keith Davis and cornerbacks Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones. The Cowboys also will try working out a new deal with safety Ken Hamlin, who they've guaranteed to keep around by designating him as their franchise player.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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