The Cowboys have signed their first player since the start of free agency.

It was one of their own.

Ernie Sims has agreed to a one-year contract for $715,000. The linebacker fell under a clause that allowed the club to take the difference between the minimum salary benefit of $555,000 and the lowest player on the team’s cap.

The bottom line: the Cowboys now have just over $100,000 to spend in free agency.

Sims was driving a tractor on his farm in Georgia last October when the Cowboys called. He wound up starting six games at weakside linebacker as injuries ravaged the team’s starting defense.

The veteran finished 12th on the team in tackles with 42. He had one sack, two quarterback pressures and broke up three passes.

The Cowboys hope Kyle Wilber will fill one of the starting linebacker jobs next to Sean Lee and Bruce Carter. Sims and Alex Albright will be Wilber’s competition.