Quarterback Quincy Carter got another NFL job 20 days after he was abruptly released by the Dallas Cowboys, the team he helped to reach the playoffs last season. Carter signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets yesterday to serve as Chad Pennington's backup.

The deal apparently will pay Carter about $500,000. The Jets lacked an experienced backup. They released veteran Vinny Testaverde -- now the Cowboys' starter -- in June and had Brooks Bollinger and Ricky Ray behind Pennington on the depth chart.

"I think Quincy is a fine young man," Coach Herman Edwards said at a news conference at the Jets' training facility in Hempstead, N.Y. "I judged him that way when he came out of college and my opinion hasn't changed and won't change. We had a lengthy conversation in my office. He knows how I feel about him and where he's at in his career and what we're going to do to try to help him in his career as a football player. To have a guy like this on this football team is a plus for us."

Carter helped the Cowboys to a 10-6 record last season and, according to Coach Bill Parcells, was ahead of Testaverde in the training camp competition for the starting job a few days before he was released. But he reportedly violated the league's substance abuse policy and was facing a fine by the NFL when the Cowboys cut him Aug. 4.

The NFL Players Association filed a challenge to the Cowboys' release of Carter with the league's special master, University of Pennsylvania law professor Stephen B. Burbank, contending that Dallas violated the NFL's collective bargaining agreement because the labor deal prohibits a player from being released because of a failed drug test. That case is not affected by Carter's signing with the Jets.

Carter, 26, said other teams expressed interest in him but declined to name them. He refused to answer questions about the details of his departure from the Cowboys.

"You have to ask Dallas just why they released me," Carter said at the news conference. "The only thing I can do is control what I can control. I'm here to help this football team win games and be Chad's backup and accept my role for this football team. Anything in the past -- we've got to move forward from here. . . . I'm just so excited to have a job right now."

Carter had been working out in Houston with wide receiver Keenan McCardell, who is holding out from training camp in a contract dispute with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Said Jets General Manager Terry Bradway: "We had no reservations as far as Quincy is concerned as a person and a guy that not only can help us win but also a guy we'd like to have be a part of our program. . . . The fit was right for everybody and we're confident that it will work out. . . . We always do our homework, and we're going to base our decisions on our findings. And we feel very comfortable with this situation right now."

Quarterback Quincy Carter, released by Dallas on Aug. 4, signed a one-year contract with New York: "I'm just so excited to have a job."