5 worst Cowboys free agent signings under GM Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones has made some awful decisions as the Cowboys GM, and these were some of the worst

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Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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3. Marco Rivera, G (2005)

Five years, $20 million – $9 million guaranteed

Stop me if you've heard this one before — Jerry Jones signed a big-name player who was no longer playing at a high level.

Yes, that sounds familiar because Jones did this three years in a row. The First was in 2004 with Eddie George. The third was in 2006 with the previously discussed Mike Vanderagt. But in between those two, he also signed Marco Rivera to a five-year deal worth $20 million.

In today's league, that's not a huge deal but in 2005, that was a massive contract. It even set a record as Rivera's $9 million signing bonus was the most ever given to a guard.

While Rivera was a three-time Pro Bowler for the Green Bay Packers, the Cowboys weren't signing the player who was a dominant force in the middle of their line. They were signing a 33-year-old who started to have issues with his back. Rivera had surgery to repair a herniated disk before his first season with Dallas and then had surgery on both elbows in the offseason. That was in addition to missing the final two games of the year due to a neck injury.

His second campaign in Dallas looked better on paper since Rivera started all 16 games but he was again injured during their playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Again, it was a herniated disk that led to a second back surgery and Rivera was subsequently released.