Hutchinson will take the roster spot that belonged to Rex Grossman, who will be placed on injured reserve after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Sunday's 27-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome.
|Chad Hutchinson started nine games for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie in 2002.|
The 6-5, 237-pounder played in 10 games the past two seasons with the Cowboys. He started the final nine contests in 2002 and finished as Dallas' leading passer, completing 127 of 259 passes for 1,555 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Hutchinson's 66.3 passer rating as a rookie was higher than two players chosen in the top five of the 2002 NFL Draft: Houston's David Carr (62.8) and Detroit's Joey Harrington (59.9). Hutchinson's position coach in Dallas was Wade Wilson, who now holds the same job with the Bears.
"We had some familiarity with him," said general manager Jerry Angelo. "He's healthy. Some of the other players that we were looking at weren't healthy.
"We knew him. We did a lot of work on him a few years ago when he decided to leave baseball. There were a lot of things that we liked about him. He's got some strong traits along with his size and arm strength. He's a model in terms of his work ethic. There were a lot of pluses.
"We wanted to get somebody with some experience if we could with the arrow still going up and he was the best candidate given that we wanted to do something right now."
Hutchinson set a Cowboys franchise record by opening his NFL career with 95 pass attempts without an interception. He led Dallas to consecutive wins over Jacksonville and Washington, throwing two touchdown passes in each contest.
In defeating the Jaguars, Hutchinson completed 14 of 26 passes for 301 yards in registering a career-high 102.8 quarterback rating.
After appearing in only one game as a reserve in 2003, Hutchinson ranked fourth in NFL Europe this past spring while completing 126 of 207 passes for 1,356 yards with five TDs, four interceptions and an 80.1 quarterback rating for the Rhein Fire.
But with the Cowboys committed to Vinny Testaverde and Drew Henson, Hutchinson was released on July 27.
As a baseball player, Hutchinson briefly made it to the major leagues in 2001. But he returned to football on Jan. 26, 2002 when he signed a seven-year contract with the Cowboys.