15 best free agent signings in Dallas Cowboys history

Deion Sanders, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Deion Sanders, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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In recent seasons, the Dallas Cowboys have become one of the more inactive teams during free agency. Each year, when asked about any potential free-agent pursuit, executive vice president Stephen Jones mutters a line similar to “we like the guys we have.”

Yet this wasn’t always the case. There was a time when Dallas wasn’t so hesitant to open the checkbook — although this was when Jerry Jones seemingly had less influence from his more frugal son.

Here, we look back at 15 of the best moves the Cowboys made when signing outside free agents.

15 best external free-agent signings in Cowboys history

Dec. 25, 2006; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback (42) Anthony Henry against the Philadelphia Eagles at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. Philadelphia defeated Dallas 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports © 2006 Mark J. Rebilas /

15. Anthony Henry, CB, 2005

A fourth-round pick out of South Florida back in 2001, Anthony Henry was one of the better selections the Cleveland Browns made during the early stages of their return to the NFL. A 25-year-old rookie, Henry had a fantastic first year with 17 pass defenses and impressive 10 interceptions.

He never again had numbers such as those but he continued to play well and had 250 tackles, 49 pass breakups, and 17 picks in four seasons with the Browns. He then hit the open market in 2005 and landed with the Cowboys on a five-year, $25 million deal.

At the time, this was a massive deal, which highlights just how much the cost of free agency has skyrocketed in the NFL.

While with Dallas, Henry was never a Pro Bowler but he was a consistent starter. He recorded 216 tackles, and 12 interceptions (two of which went to the house) and broke up 53 passes in four seasons. A quiet player who simply did his job, Henry was a solid addition and even netted them a good backup quarterback since he was traded after 2008 to the Detroit Lions for Jon Kitna.