Cowboys Sign 'Pedigreed' LB Keith Rivers

IRVING - In a move that is a about 'pedigree' more than 'production,' the Cowboys have signed FA linebacker Keith Rivers, a former NFL No. 1 pick who was at Valley Ranch on Wednesday.

This doesn't rank high on the Dallas Cowboys' wish list compared to their desire to keep Rolando McClain. Nor does it rank above the hopes on Justin Durant, on whom we might need to tap the brakes for a moment. But the Cowboys have added to their linebacking stable with a Wednesday agreement to a one-year deal with Keith Rivers.

What does the 28-year-old Rivers offer? Most of all, a pedigree. He was cut by the Buffalo Bills in February after having signed a two-year deal worth $5 million there ... and then getting crowded out of the lineup, recording just three starts.

But the 6-2, 235-pounder from USC was once a premium prospect as the No. 9 overall pick in the 2008 Draft by the Bengals. The Cowboys will be his fourth NFL team (he was with the Giants for two years) and he's a strong-side guy so he presently goes into the mix with Anthony Hitchens and (hopefully) Durant, with a healthy Sean Lee set to return as either the weakside starter (if McClain stays) or the MIKE.

The feeling inside Valley Ranch is that Bruce Carter might get an offer that tops anything Dallas wishes to pay. Durant, meanwhile, certainly wishes to stay. And Rivers? He was at Valley Ranch on Wednesday and his deal is official.

Onside Kicks

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*In an exclusive with Stephen Jones, learns the team's "shop-and-drop'' plans with DeMarco Murray. And as you ponder the McCoy-to-Bills deal (Philly seeing one of the two best runners in football as too expensive and expendable) prepare yourself for buzz about the single best runner in football, Adrian Peterson -- and how the market is too flooded with "good'' to overpay for "good.''

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