Vanderjagt a Cowboy

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

America's team is looking to a Canadian to provide some peace of mind in the kicking game.

The Dallas Cowboys signed Oakville native Mike Vanderjagt yesterday, two days after his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, acquired former New England Patriot Adam Vinatieri.

The former Argo, who is statistically the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, was an unrestricted free agent after eight years with the Colts.

Despite his success, for the past few seasons Vanderjagt had a stormy relationship with Indianapolis president and general manager Bill Polian.

The final straw came during the AFC divisional playoffs in January when Vanderjagt wildly missed a 46-yard field goal that would have forced overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Reports out of Indianapolis suggest Polian was also upset with Vanderjagt's appearance on Late Night With David Letterman. During the show, the outspoken kicker had a little fun, successfully making a 46-yard attempt on a New York street.

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, meanwhile, has been driven bonkers by a steady string of inept kickers.

This past season, Dallas went through three kickers -- including Canadian Shaun Suisham of Wallaceburg -- who were a combined 20-of-28 on field goal attempts.

In Vanderjagt, who turns 36 today, the Cowboys get one of the brashest players at the position but also one of the best.

His 87.5% success rate on field goals is the best in history and he also holds the NFL record for consecutive field goals made at 42.

Terms of the three-year deal were not disclosed by the team.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys re-signed another Canadian yesterday, securing Quebec native L.P. LaDouceur, a second-year defensive end/special teams player.

BEARS KEEP IDONIJE

Manitoba native Israel Idonije won't be going to Buffalo after all, but he will be going to the bank. The 25-year-old former University of Manitoba Bison remained with the Chicago Bears yesterday when the team opted to match the four-year offer sheet Idonije had signed with the Bills.

"We want Israel back," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. "We feel that he's a young quality player who is still developing."


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