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Cowboys have 13 restricted and exclusive rights free agents

The other day I went through our list of unrestricted free agents, you can read that here. Today, let's take on the restricted free agents and the exclusive rights free agents. The rules are complicated, but basically a restricted free agent has over three accrued years of NFL service but not over five, or something like that. Anyway, if you tender them at certain levels and other teams offer them more and you don't match, then you lose them but sometimes get compensation. The exclusive rights free agents just need to be tendered contracts at certain levels and they remain with the team.

Restricted Free Agents

Mat McBriar - No doubt about this one, get him back for next year. The guy was our secret weapon.

Patrick Crayton - A major priority, Crayton took the step-up to respectable #3 WR and shows enough ability for better seasons ahead.

Jacques Reeves - Special teams player that has yet to move into a contributing role on defense. With guys like this, you keep them unless you find a better prospect, and there are always some of those available.

Nate Jones - Saw time at the end of the year in the nickel and dime defenses, playing FS instead of CB. May be in the mix for back-up duties next year.

Ryan Fowler - Used on special teams, where he excelled at kick coverage, and on the goal line defense, he could return.

Lousaka Polite - Saw his position usurped by Oliver Hoyte, could be in trouble.

Junior Glymph - Plays a position that you can have enough of in a 3-4 defense, so his return is possible.

Brett Pierce - The oft-injured TE is liked by Parcells, but has yet to fulfill any of his potential.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

Stephen Bowen - Showed promise in his one game of action, he might be looked at for contributions next year.

Abram Elam - Spent a good part of the season active on special teams, but will have to improve as a true safety to keep a spot on the roster.

Cory Procter - Possible replacement for Marco Rivera should the Cowboys finally make the smart decision and let him go.

Joe Berger - Another offensive guard prospect, but no one knows outside of the coaching staff if he has true potential.

Montavious Stanley - The Cowboys desperately need a back-up NT, so Stanley might get a shot, but will have to greatly improve over the offseason.