Cowboys Sign Slaton, Washington

Guard Tony Slaton and safety James Washington of the Rams and Chicago Bears' receiver Dennis McKinnon, headed a list of 12 Plan B free agents signed by the Dallas Cowboys Saturday.

Slaton, 28, was mostly a reserve in six seasons with the Rams, although he won the starting right guard position from Duval Love in 1989 after Love's long training camp holdout. Love regained his position late in the season. Slaton, signed by the Rams as a free agent in 1984 after playing at USC, has been bothered by an arthritic knee.

Washington, a fifth-round draft choice from UCLA in 1988, played in nine games last season as a reserve. He missed six weeks with a thigh injury. Washington, also bothered by a chronic knee problem, made his only start of the season against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game, filling in for injured Vince Newsome at free safety. Washington made nine unassisted tackles in the Rams' 30-3 loss.

Slaton and Washington were among 16 Rams left unprotected by the team on Feb. 1. Plan B players are unrestricted free agents who have until April 1 to negotiate with teams other than their own.

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