The Biggest Free Agency Busts in Dallas Cowboys History

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIMarch 13, 2013

The Biggest Free Agency Busts in Dallas Cowboys History

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    The Dallas Cowboys are known as the New York Yankees of football when it comes to throwing money around, and that comes with some natural setbacks.

    Sometimes the big-name free agent works out, and sometimes that contract quickly becomes dead weight counting against the 'Boys salary cap.

    Dallas owner Jerry Jones has had his fair share of good calls in the free-agent pool, such as Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson, but we're not here to discuss success. Here are the biggest free-agent busts in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.

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5. Chris Warren

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    After Chris Warren rushed for four straight seasons with nothing less than 847 yards with the Seattle Seahawks from 1996-1997, the Cowboys decided he'd be the perfect backup for Emmitt Smith.

    Dallas signed the rusher in 1998 to a three-year deal, but Warren didn't last that long with Big D. Warren played in just nine games for his new team that year and saw his best statistical season come in his second and last year with the team.

    Warren rushed for 403 yards in 1999 and did not finish the 2000 season with the Cowboys.

4. Mike Vanderjagt

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    Yes, you guessed it. Of course Peyton Manning's favorite "liquored-up kicker" made this list.

    Vanderjagt and the Colts parted ways at the end of the 2005 season and a Cowboys team desperate to end their kicking woes quickly picked up the phone.

    The former Colt was awarded a three-year, $5.4 million contract to don the star on his helmet but didn't even finish a full season with his new team.

    Just three seasons removed from converting all 37 field-goal attempts for the Colts in 2003, Vanderjagt made just 13 of 18 for the Cowboys in '06. He missed three of his four attempts from 40-49 yards and even a chip-shot between 20-29 yards.

    Vanderjagt was replaced midseason with Martin Gramatica, which tells you just how bad Jerry Jones wanted to stop paying the former's bills.

3. Al Singleton

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    Al Singleton was part of a revolving door of outside linebackers during the Bill Parcells years, and he never quite lived up to his last year with the Buccaneers while suiting up for Dallas.

    Singleton's last season with the Bucs was statistically the best of his career as he tallied 68 tackles, two turnovers and a sack. As a Cowboy, Singleton never eclipsed the 50-tackle mark—let alone 68—over four seasons with the team.

    After two years as a starter, Parcells had seen enough and went with Scott Fujita over Singleton in 2005. The former Buc was used as a backup and special teams player before retiring with the Cowboys at the end of the 2007 season.

2. Jason Ferguson

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    Out of all the players on this list, Jason Ferguson was the one who made the most money as an under-performing Cowboy.

    Ferguson came over from the New York Jets in 2005 to reunite with former coach Bill Parcells, and he cashed in a big payday in the process. The former Parcells draft pick signed a five-year, $21.5 million contract with the team, where he would play three seasons.

    After the big signing, Ferguson spent his first year backing up La'Roi Glover and his third season on injured reserve after tearing his bicep in Week 1 against the Giants. The only season when Ferguson started all 16 games for Dallas was his second season in 2006, when he tallied 46 tackles.

1. Eddie George

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    Just as Cowboys fans wish Emmitt Smith retired before his stint with the Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans fans probably wish Eddie George retired before his season in Dallas.

    George came to the Cowboys in 2004 with just one sub-1,000-yard season in his career. The former Titan workhorse split time with then-rookie Julius Jones and just never looked comfortable in a Cowboys uniform.

    It seemed every time George was given the ball, he was tackled before he could gain more than four yards. This phenomena might be part of the reason George finished 2004 with just 432 yards and four touchdowns, a career-low on both fronts. After a year in Big D, George decided to hang up the cleats at the age of 31.