The back rower was told last month that he was not in the Newcastle Knights long term plan and should seek another deal for the remainder of the season should one be forth coming.
With the allure of playing under mentor Neil Henry, who he played under in the inaugural All Stars match in 2010, the deal was struck.
“He told me I would be an asset to the team,” Paterson told Sportsnewsfirst.com.au.
“He sees me in plans going forward which is nice to know.”
Despite offers from a number of NRL sides, Paterson is sold on the Cowboys and looking forward to the challenge of establishing himself in a new state and side.
“The exciting thing now is setting myself up in a new town and earning the respect of the players and the fans,” Paterson said.
“I’ve got to earn it all over again and that’s a challenge I’m looking forward to, it’s unknown and given me that hunger to succeed and prove a few people wrong.”
After spending the weekend in Townsville exploring the club with fiancée Sarah, Paterson had found his new home, taking time to explore housing after being overwhelmed by the presentation from Cowboys football manager Peter Parr and coach Neil Henry.
“The presentation was really impressive,” he said.
“Both Parry and Neil Henry have been great.”
Looking to free salary cap space for the possible arrival of Darius Boyd, the Knights have reached an agreement with the Cowboys and will his new side in a matter of weeks.
“It ticks all the boxes,” he said.
“The players they have, the coach, I’ve played under Neil Henry before and the town is similar to Newcastle.
“When I was up there myself and my partner real enjoyed what we saw up there.”
The Indigenous All Stars representative informed his team mates of the news in what was an emotional farewell for the man who has played all of his first grade games to date.
Despite being shopped around by the club with another season and a half remaining on his contract, Paterson has taken it all in his stride.
“Newcastle made it clear I wasn’t part of their plans so I looked at all my options and this is my best option for my family,” he said.
“It was tough telling the boys but they gave me a hug and a handshake so you can’t ask for much more than that.
“I’d rather jump then be pushed. I knew my time was up and I just want to wish all the boys the best for the future.”
Paterson will be joined by his partner and son Jax at the end of the year after Sarah completes her University degree in Newcastle.