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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Nov 21, 2009; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin (26) signals following a play during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 17-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

10. Ken Hamlin, S, 2007

Dallas signing players to one-year “prove-it” deals really isn’t anything new. Sure, they have done so with much more frequency over the past few seasons but they have always tried to find a bargain player who could help them while looking to prove themselves.

That’s what happened in 2007 when they signed former Seattle Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million. A former second-round pick from Arkansas, Hamlin was involved in an altercation in 2005 which ended with him in the hospital after being hit in the head with a metal street sign.

Hamlin missed the remainder of the 2005 season and despite returning for the 2006 campaign, teams were reluctant to give him a big contract due to concerns over the head injury he suffered.

Dallas was rewarded for putting faith in Hamlin as he made the Pro Bowl in 2007 when he registered 62 tackles and a career-high five picks. He was hit with the franchise tag in 2008, keeping him with the team and they eventually worked out a long-term contract.

Hamlin didn’t get to finish out that contract as he was released ahead of the 2010 season. Still, he ended up with 44 starts in three seasons with Dallas. During that time, he had had 188 tackles and six picks. The extension wasn’t great, but the Cowboys did land a solid free agent when they added him from Seattle.