Phil Costa gets two-year deal


IRVING, Texas – Set to be a restricted free agent, the Cowboys signed center Phil Costa to a two-year contract worth $2.7 million, according to a source.

As a restricted free agent Costa would have earned $1.323 million in 2013 and now will count less on the cap with the Cowboys tying him up through 2014.

Costa received a signing bonus of $450,000. His cap number will be $975,000, saving the Cowboys roughly $350,000 this year.

Costa played in only parts of three games in 2012, leaving the season opener at the New York Giants after one series when he aggravated a back injury that sidelined him for of most of training camp. He dislocated his ankle on Oct. 21 at Carolina, and that eventually required season-ending surgery.

He should be able to take part in most of the offseason program.

Without Costa, the Cowboys needed Ryan Cook (11 games) and Mackenzy Bernadeau (two) to start at center last season.

Costa started every game in 2011 after making the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2010.

At the NFL scouting combine, owner and general manager Jerry Jones praised Costa’s smarts and work ethic while also acknowledging limitations. Jones said the Cowboys would need strong guard play on either side of Costa.

“I can see going with Costa at center for several years,” Jones said last week.

The Cowboys will go for at least two more.

Costa is the second player the Cowboys re-signed in the last week, joining long snapper L.P. Ladouceur.