2. Gerald McCoy, DT, 2020
As bad as the Dontari Poe signing was, it still wasn’t the worst move Dallas made on the defensive line in 2020.
Before landing Poe, the Cowboys signed his teammate from Carolina, Gerald McCoy, giving them two new defensive tackles under Mike Nolan. McCoy, like Poe, had an impressive resume when signed and was praised as a great addition.
He spent nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had 297 tackles and 54.5 sacks. He made the Pro Bowl six years in a row (from 2012 through 2017) and was one of the better interior pass rushers in the entire NFL.
He was let go ahead of the 2019 season due to salary cap restraints but had another solid season while playing in Carolina. That year, he had 37 tackles and five sacks while playing in all 16 games.
Dallas hoped for similar success but that never happened. McCoy, who signed a three-year, $18 million deal, ruptured his quad during practice and never suited up for America’s Team. He was released before the year even began and tried to make a comeback in 2021 with Las Vegas but lasted just one more game.
To be fair, the injury was an unexpected thing but it still wound up being one of the worst free-agent moves over the past decade.