Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Friday, April 20, 2012
Marc Colombo to retire a Cowboy

By Todd Archer
ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Marc Colombo will retire a Dallas Cowboy.

Colombo signed a ceremonial one-year contract with the Cowboys on Friday to make sure his NFL career ended with the team with which he had the most success. The move will be made official Monday.

"My time here was the majority of my career," said Colombo, who joined the team in 2005 and was the starting right tackle from 2006-10. "I feel like this place made me the football player I always wanted to be. It's just an amazing place with an unbelievable owner. To be able to play at other places, you realize there's nothing like being a Cowboy."

In 2005, the Cowboys took a chance on Colombo, who was picked in the first round by Chicago in 2002, after the Bears released him in part because of a serious knee injury.

The gamble paid off for the Cowboys and Colombo started every game (72) in which he was healthy. He missed seven games in 2009 with an ankle injury and one game in 2010 with a knee injury.

The Cowboys released Colombo after the lockout ended in 2011 to give the starting job to Tyron Smith. Colombo, 33, signed with Miami and played every snap for the Dolphins last season.

"It's really good to be able to come back here," said Colombo, who owns a number of Smashburger franchises in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with ex-teammate Leonard Davis and calls the area home. "I think getting away for a year was a good thing because it made me realize how fortunate I was to play as long as I did with the Cowboys.

"To come back in and meet with Mr. Jones, it was really humbling. He's a great owner and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. He's always treated me well," Colombo said.

"I just think being able to retire as a Dallas Cowboy is something I always envisioned after I'd been here for a few years. We're living here now. The fan support has been great and I'd just like to thank everybody."