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Cowboys 2015 Free Agents: Dallas Signs Linebacker Keith Rivers To One-Year Deal

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The Dallas Cowboys signed Keith Rivers to a one-year contract. Who exactly is Keith Rivers and what can he bring to this team?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There are lots of questions surrounding what the Dallas Cowboys will do at their linebacker position. The defensive captain Sean Lee is coming off another injury, an ACL tear that occurred last offseason. Rolando McClain has concerns both on the field and off. Justin Durant and Bruce Carter are both seeking contracts to return to Dallas in 2015. Today, according to multiple reports, the Cowboys reached a one-year deal with the former Giant and Bill linebacker Keith Rivers.

Rivers was off to a promising start his rookie year with 37 tackles through the first six games of the 2008 season. During a week seven matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers his season would come to an abrupt end following a hit from Hines Ward. Rivers was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 and the Cowboys will be his fourth team after stops in New York and Buffalo sandwiched in between.

Year Team G GS Sack Int PD FF FR Tackles
2008 CIN 7 7 0 1 1 1 0 37
2009 CIN 13 13 1 1 2 0 0 71
2010 CIN 15 13 1 0 2 0 0 77
2011 CIN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 NYG 11 6 0 0 1 0 1 38
2013 NYG 16 8 1 0 1 0 1 45
2014 BUF 12 3 0 0 0 0 0 16

Rivers production has been nowhere near where it was following the 2010 season. When he showed up to training camp in 2011 he needed wrist surgery that was thought to only sideline him a few weeks but it ended up costing him the entire season.

Rivers was a highly touted linebacker coming out of college according to his combine profile on NFL.com.

Rivers' ability to play a variety of positions proved invaluable earlier in his career. In addition to excelling at weak-side linebacker, he was often used as a defensive end in pass rushing situations during his first two seasons with the Trojans. He also played through nagging left ankle problems in 2007, but still performed at a high level to garner All-American honors

Taking a look at his pro tape after his departure from the Bengals, Rivers has embraced a lesser role. At times he shows good instincts but can get washed out of plays when dealing with offensive linemen. Other times you will find Rivers shedding blockers and bringing down the ball carrier. From the limited tape he shows a good motor and rarely will give up on plays.

From the looks of the deal and the type of player he is this may very well just be another body for depth.