Cowboys Expected to Re-Sign Starting Defensive Tackle: Report

Antwaun Woods

Getty Antwaun Woods

Although a formality, Antwaun Woods will put pen to paper to remain in silver and blue.

Mickey Spagnola of the Dallas Cowboys‘ official website noted in his latest column the veteran defensive tackle is expected to sign his exclusive-rights tender “soon.”

Once official, Woods will earn $750,000 for the 2020 campaign before hitting restricted free agency next March, barring a long-term (and unlikely) extension.

A former undrafted free agent, Woods started 10 games for the Cowboys last season, finishing with 23 tackles. His year was marred by a December arrest for possession of marijuana over two ounces, tampering with evidence, and possession of paraphernalia.

Woods, who also battled a knee injury in 2019, is subject to NFL discipline for the arrest. But because he’s a first-time offender and the league scaled back punishment for marijuana-related offenses in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, he’s unlikely to be suspended.

Woods joined Dallas in 2015 and started 15 games as the primary nose tackle, collecting 34 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The 27-year-old began his professional career with the Tennessee Titans, who signed the 6-foot-1, 310-pound defender as an undrafted free agent out of USC.

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Role with Cowboys

It’s safe to say Woods’ days as a starter, at least with Dallas, are over, barring injury. The club completely remade its defensive depth chart over the offseason, bringing aboard veteran linemen Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Aldon Smith. They also used a third-round pick on DT Neville Gallimore and a fifth-rounder on DE Bradlee Anae.

These, the countermoves after losing starting DL Robert Quinn (Chicago Bears), Maliek Collins (Las Vegas Raiders), and Christian Covington (Denver Broncos) in free agency.

The logjam being what it is, Woods should settle in as a primary backup behind Poe, manning the nose for new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Assuming he makes the final squad, of course.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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