Traditionally, the Cowboys haven't been in much of a hurry to sign their picks, and have been content to sit back and watch the market value develop for the draft picks. That has obviously changed with the new CBA and its slot-by-slot formula, where each draft pick has a fixed and predetermined contract value, so in principle, there is no impediment to signing the draft picks.
In fact, many teams have signed most of their draft picks, and even a handful of first-round picks have signed their contracts. Ezekiel Ansah, the fifth pick in the 2013 draft by the Detroit Lions, is the highest drafted player to have signed a contract so far. Other high picks include Star Lotulelei (14th), Kenny Vaccaro (15th) and Kyle Long.
In the meantime, the Cowboys have taken a bottom-up approach, and signed their three lowest draft picks while their first four picks remain unsigned. Here's an overview of the contract status for the Cowboys 2013 draft class, which includes the likely contract value even for the players not yet signed:
|Round||Player||Position||College||Contract Status||Contract Value
|2||Gavin Escobar||TE||San Diego State||Unsigned||$4,210,498||$1,442,180|
|3||J.J. Wilcox||S||Georgia Southern||Unsigned||$2,791,068||$586,068|
|4||B.W. Webb||CB||William & Mary||Signed||$2,603,000||$443,000|
|5||Joseph Randle||RB||Oklahoma State||Signed||$2,348,820||$188,820|
|6||DeVonte Holloman||LB||South Carolina||Signed||$2,264,220||$104,220|
|Note: Numbers for unsigned rookies are estimates by OverTheCap.com|
Before anybody gets a nervous breakdown about the number unsigned Cowboys rookies, rest assured: there is no cause for concern whatsoever.
"Top Four Cowboys Picks Still Not Under Contract!" may make for a good headline, but will inevitably be followed by bad content - something we've almost become used to by now. Here is what we do know: Rookie hold-outs are a thing of the past, because the room for negotiations is virtually non-existent, given that the slot-by-slot formula has already predetermined the contract value and signing bonus for each player down to the last dollar.
In all likelihood the Cowboys have already prepared contract offers for the remaining four unsigned picks and getting signatures under the contracts should be little more than a formality.
The entire team is going to be at Valley Ranch next week for mandatory minicamp (June 11 - 13). Expect the Cowboys to get most, if not all, of their remaining rookies under contract by then. Last year, the Cowboys signed Danny Coale, James Hanna and Caleb McSurdy at the start of mandatory minicamp, and followed that up by signing Tyrone Crawford and Kyle Wilber of the course of the same week. Only Morris Claiborne took a little longer, as there were questions about offset language for the top picks in the draft, but Claiborne ultimately signed before the start of training camp. No offset language issues are expected for Travis Frederick.