Quarterback Quincy Carter signed with the New York Jets on Tuesday, three weeks after his surprising release by Dallas.

Carter, who started every game for the Cowboys last season, was released Aug. 4, before the team’s first exhibition game. Reports said he failed a drug test and the NFL Players Association has filed a request for arbitration in the case.

Gene Upshaw, the union’s executive director, told The Associated Press that the NFLPA will continue to press the case. “We have to,” he said, adding that part of the grievance involves potential salary loss to Carter.

With the Jets, Carter will back up Chad Pennington, giving the team an experienced second-stringer. Neither of the other two quarterbacks, second-year man Brooks Bollinger nor Ricky Ray, who played in the Canadian Football League, has ever taken an NFL snap.

Ironically, Carter; successor is 40-year-old Vinny Testaverde, who was released this spring by the Jets after starting 57 games in six seasons.

Carter, a second-round draft choice by the Cowboys in 2001, started all 31 games in which he played for Dallas, including 17 last season — 16 in the regular season and one in the playoffs. In his career, he has 507 completions in 902 attempts for 5,839 yards with 29 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.

Known for his mobility, he has run 140 times for 498 yards.

AP Football Writer Dave Goldberg contributed to this report.