Cowboys’ best and worst free agent signings of the last decade

The last few years, the Cowboys have famously treated free agency as a disease to be avoided rather than a strategic tool to help your team get better immediately. But we weren’t always averse to signing some free agents who worked well for us and others that did not.

Heres a list of the probable best and worst free agents the Cowboys have signed in the last decade, not necessarily in any order:

THE BEST (the ones that did well)

  • WR Randall Cobb– played one year on the cheap – 1 year at $5 mil in 2019 as a slot receiver replacing Cole Beasley. Cobb had 55 receptions for 828 yds and 3 TDs. The Texans signed him in 2020 to a better deal and he’s played 4 more years in the league. But his last good year in the league was in Dallas.
  • C Joe Looney- signed a two-year, $1.6 million deal in 2016 and played very well here for 4 seasons as a solid backup and occasional starter at C. JL was a rare find with OL- not that expensive and can play multiple positions reliably. Looney was not re-signed after the 2019 season and just played one more season in the league.
  • RB Darren McFadden- a good signing in 2015 for just $3 mil for two years, D-Mac replaced DeMarco Murray after Murray signed that huge deal with the eagles. D-Mac had an excellent year in 2015 finishing 4th in the league in rushing with 1,089 yards on 239 carries. When Zeke was drafted in 2016, Mac faded but he had one great year.


  • S HahaClinton-Dix- signed on the cheap for a one year, $3.5 million deal in the 2020 off-season, Dix was expected to step in as a starter on what turned out to be the worst defense in Cowboys history under DC Mike Nolan. Dix had such a bad training camp, he was beaten out by (gulp) Darrien Thompson and Dix was released before the season started.
  • DE Greg Hardy- signed in 2015 as a reaction to the Cowboys pass rush not being able to sack a one legged Aaron Rodgers in the divisional playoff loss in 2014 to the pack. Hardy missed the first five games while being suspended for his off field conduct. He started off well with 2 sacks against Tom Brady but only had 4 more sacks the rest of the season. He famously slapped a clipboard out a coaches hands on the sidelines but was not allowed to be disciplined. Was released in the 2016 off-season and never played another down of NFL football.
  • LB Jasper Brinkley- also part of the bad FA signings we had in 2015, Brinkley signed a a two-year deal worth $6.2 million with $2 million guaranteed. After a really bad training camp, Brinkley was released, with the Cowboys paying his $2 mil guarantee and he never played a single down for us.

This is obviously an incomplete list. Add some more you feel were good or bad free agent signings the last decade.

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