"I'm looking forward to playing for Dallas," said Price, a four-year pro from Stanford. "I didn't feel things were going the way I wanted in L.A. They had a good draft pick (Troy Drayton) and they wanted to go with him."
Price ended his holdout Sept. 7 by signing a one-year deal worth $150,000--$125,000 less than he thought he was worth. He also forfeited $25,000 of his contract per the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Because he failed to play in the exhibition season, he had to sit out the next three games after signing. He was added to the roster for last Sunday's New Orleans game, but was listed as an inactive player.
"I knew something was up when I was inactive," Price said. "I figured they were going to trade me."
His departure leaves the Rams with two healthy tight ends--starter Travis McNeal and Drayton. Another tight end, Pat Carter, has been sidelined with a foot injury and is expected to return for the Oct. 24 Detroit game.
Dallas was in need of another tight end behind starter Jay Novacek and backup Kelly Blackwell. The Cowboys have lost three backup tight ends to season-ending injuries--Alfredo Roberts (broken foot), Rich Bartlewski (torn knee ligament) and Fallon Wacasey (shoulder).
"It's a great opportunity for Jim," Ram Coach Chuck Knox said. "Dallas is in need of a quality tight end. They called us, and, because of our tight end situation, we went ahead with the trade."
Price left for Dallas Tuesday afternoon and will begin practice today. He expects to be ready for the Cowboys' game Sunday at Indianapolis.
Scott Casterline, Price's agent, said the snag in Price's negotiations centered on the league's new free agency system, where players are paid minimal salaries in the early stages of their contracts. The Rams originally offered $210,000 when Price wanted $275,000.
Price will be reunited in Dallas with offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who was the Rams' tight ends and wide receivers coach when Price was on the team's practice squad in 1990.
Price played in 26 games, starting eight, in two active seasons with the Rams. He caught 69 passes for 734 yards and four touchdowns. He played in 15 games last season, started two, and caught 34 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns.