A desire to pay back the club that launched his career was the catalyst for international prop James Tamou to extend his stay at North Queensland until the end of 2016.
Tamou was off contract at the completion of the 2013 season but the Cowboys were keen to ward off rival clubs by signing the powerhouse front-rower to a long-term deal.
Tamou, 24, played for NSW and Australia this year and is regarded as one of the leading props in the game.
'When I first came to the Cowboys I hadn't played in the NRL and now I'm playing Origin and Test footy which shows how much being here has helped my game,' Tamou saidy.
'I owe this club a lot and I love the area and the people here so my goal was to stay with North Queensland.
'I think we have a great squad and can challenge for titles next year and beyond that.'
Cowboys general manager, Peter Parr, added: 'After the way he played this year, I think everyone now knows what a talented footballer James is.
'His 2012 season was one of the best by a front-rower in this club's history.
'Not only did he play representative football, he excelled at that level and he was among our best players week in week out with his team-mates recognising him with the Players' Player of the Year award.
'His best years as a forward in the NRL are still ahead of him and our members and fans can look forward to at least his next four years being with the Cowboys.'
North Queensland will now step up their bid to keep skipper, Johnathan Thurston, at the club beyond 2013.
The brilliant playmaker is being chased by a number of NRL outfits and recently toured Canterbury's training headquarters in a clandestine late night meeting.