Abram Elam reunites with Rob Ryan

Updated: August 4, 2011, 3:44 PM ET
By Todd Archer and Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO -- The Dallas Cowboys continue to systematically address their needs in free agency.

A day after agreeing to a one-year deal with Gerald Sensabaugh, the Cowboys on Wednesday night signed safety Abram Elam to a one-year deal.

Sources said he will receive $2.5 million.

Elam, who played for the Cowboys in 2006, will be reunited with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan in Dallas. Elam started 31 of 32 games the last two years with the Browns and was credited by the coaches with 77 tackles last season to go along with two interceptions, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 10 pass deflections.

"He's smart, he's consistent, he's conservative in his play style. We don't like to give up the big home runs. He's that safety blanket back there," Ryan said of Elam after the team's walkthrough Thursday morning. "He understands what we're looking for, he understands why we call things and when we call them."

Elam, who turns 30 in October, started 48 games in the four years since he was cut by the Cowboys. He had 13 tackles and a forced fumble with the Cowboys in 2006, but he was caught up in the coaching change after Bill Parcells resigned and Wade Phillips was brought in.

"We're excited about Abe. ... He's a veteran safety who's played in this scheme and played in this league, a lot of starts, a lot of snaps," coach Jason Garrett said. "He's not one of those guys who wows you necessarily, but he's the kind of guy you want playing safety for you. He's a great communicator, he understands what we want to do on the defensive side of the ball and he's able to communicate that to other people really quickly."

Since free agency began, the Cowboys have addressed their needs along the offensive and defensive lines with the signings of Doug Free, Kyle Kosier, Marcus Spears and Kenyon Coleman and have now done the same at safety with Sensabaugh and Elam.

The Cowboys are still looking at the possibility of adding more help on the offensive line in free agency.

Todd Archer and Calvin Watkins cover the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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