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STEELERS ADD FOUR PICKS, COWBOYS GET THREE

The Pittsburgh Steelers will get four compensatory draft picks this year and the Dallas Cowboys will get three as a result of free-agent losses in 1997.

The Steelers, who lost six players to free agency, will get picks at the end of the third, fourth, sixth and seventh rounds. The Cowboys, who lost three free agents and signed none, will get picks at the end of the sixth and seventh.

Dallas and Pittsburgh are the only teams with multiple compensatory picks among the 19 awarded by the NFL.

The other teams to get choices will be Tampa Bay, Detroit, Green Bay and Chicago after the sixth round and Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota, Arizona, Carolina, Tennessee and Oakland after the seventh.

The picks are determined by an NFL formula that combines the free agent's salary and his performance.

In other football news: Quarterback Mark Rypien will be leaving the St. Louis Rams for Atlanta.

Rypien, an unrestricted free agent, has agreed in principle to a two-year, $1.8 million contract offer from the Falcons. He is expected to sign the deal early next week.

The Rams talked to Rypien about resigning him for $550,000, the same amount he made last year.

Meanwhile, center-offensive guard John Flannery, an unrestricted free agent from the Dallas Cowboys, has agreed to terms on a two-year, $1.175 million contract with the Rams.

Flannery, 6-foot-3 and 304 pounds, was a second-round pick (44th overall) by the Houston Oilers in 1991.

Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer is off probation more than a year early thanks to what authorities call exemplary behavior. Plummer was sentenced to two years probation in connection with allegations that he groped women while dancing at a nightclub.

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