Cowboys Re-Sign Defensive Starter to New Contract: Report

Cowboys DL Antwaun Woods

Getty Cowboys DL Antwaun Woods

The Dallas Cowboys are taking a snail-like approach to NFL free agency, which began Monday with the opening of the legal tampering window, probably because the brain trust is first handling its in-house business.

According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Cowboys tendered offers to restricted free-agent defensive tackle Antwaun Woods and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson.

Both players — a former undrafted free agent and a sixth-round pick, respectively — will receive original-round tenders worth $2.133 million for the 2021 season, per Hill.

In related news, Dallas opted not to tender fellow RFA offensive tackle Greg Senat and WR Malik Turner.

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Roster Impact

Woods, who joined the team in 2018, appeared in 14 games (seven starts) for the Cowboys last year, registering 23 tackles and one sack. He experienced an uptick in snaps following Gerald McCoy’s season-ending injury and the midseason release of ineffectual nose tackle Dontari Poe.

Woods, 28, likely will return in a rotational capacity under new Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, spelling primary DTs Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore. Quinn is expected to transition to a 4-3 scheme, ditching the 3-4 setup used by predecessor Mike Nolan.

Wilson was chosen by the Cowboys with the No. 208 overall selection of the 2018 draft. He spent his entire rookie campaign on injured reserve and was limited to six games in 2019 due to injury. Wilson made all 16 appearances last year, however, and totaled 17 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns, a rarely-used weapon in an offense that featured Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. (You also might remember him from the “Philly Special” TD toss to Dak Prescott.)

Wilson, 25, should continue to be used sparingly if he cracks the 2021 final roster behind the aforementioned Big Three. He projects as the No. 5 WR after the Cowboys on Monday reportedly re-signed unrestricted free agent Noah Brown to a one-year contract.

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Erving Bolts to Carolina

The Carolina Panthers signed now-former Cowboys offensive lineman Cameron Erving to a two-year, $10 million contract, including $8 million guaranteed, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported earlier Monday.

Erving proved to be one-and-done in Dallas after inking a prove-it deal last May. He was brought aboard to function as a swing lineman behind stud tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. That plan fell apart when Smith and Collins both suffered season-ending injuries, forcing the 28-year-old — who battled maladies of his own — into five forgettable starts for the 6-10 club.

“Cowboys should be thrilled about this. Erving didn’t practice much of camp. His season began with MCL sprain to one knee. After five starts, ended with MCL sprain to other. Any return wouldn’t have involved a contract near this value. Now could help them get a compensatory pick,” tweeted the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL