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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Jayron Kearse, Cowboys
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 26: Jayron Kearse #27 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

13. Jayron Kearse, S, 2021

This past offseason, Dallas added three new safeties in Damontae Kazee, Malik Hooker, and Jayron Kearse. There were concerns with Kazee and Hooker who were each coming off a torn Achilles and Kearse was an under-the-radar move that generated very little excitement.

That changed quickly as all three did a fine job but Kearse really stood out as a star in his first season with America’s Team.

A former seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, Kearse started seven games for the Detroit Lions in 2020 and showed enough in that span to convince defensive coordinator Dan Quinn he could excel in the scheme he was running in Dallas.

Standing 6-4 and 215 pounds, Kearse played close to the line of scrimmage as a bit of a throwback ‘in-the-box’ safety. He wound up leading the team in tackles with 101 and added nine tackles for a loss as well as one sack.

However, it wasn’t exactly as if he was a hindrance in the passing game. Kearse had 10 pass defenses and recorded two picks as well — although he nearly had at least two more during the season.

Once the year was done, the Cowboys re-signed Kearse as well as Hooker to two-year deals. Should he continue to play at anywhere close to the level we saw in 2021, Kearse could climb up even higher than he sits on this list right now.