Olshansky reunites with Phillips

Updated: March 6, 2009, 8:23 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

As one of the best defensive linemen available in free agency, Igor Olshansky had several options.

He decided to pick the defense he was most familiar with on Friday, choosing the Cowboys. Oshansky agreed to a four-year, $18 million contact with Dallas that includes $8 million in guarantees, according to a source. He will reunite with Wade Phillips, his former defensive coordinator in San Diego.

A former second-round choice of the Chargers, Olshansky played five seasons in the Chargers' 3-4 scheme. Phillips, who was defensive coordinator in San Diego from 2004 to '06, went from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Olshansky started 57 of 59 games as a Charger. He had 187 tackles and nine sacks during his San Diego.

The native of the Ukraine is the first player from the former Soviet Union to play in the NFL.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com

John Clayton

NFL senior writer