The Dallas Cowboys finally got down to business and made tender offers to their RFAs. Surprisingly, four out of the five got tendered at the second-round level.
Wide receiver Miles Austin, defensive end Stephen Bowen, wide receiver Sam Hurd and guard Cory Procter each received the league's $1.545 million restricted tender, which secures right of first refusal and second-round compensation should the Cowboys choose not to match another team's offer sheet.
Miles Austin - Kind of a no-brainer. In fact, the only real question was if the Cowboys might go to a first-round tender. But I think they got it right. Austin has the physical gifts you want in a WR. Size and speed. He's also started to round into form in terms of catching the ball, something he struggled with for quite a while. Before this year, I used to think his best play was go deep and get a pass interference call, but he began showing signs of being a serious deep threat before he got hurt. Without the second-round tender he would have surely gotten offers from other teams. With the tender, teams will think twice, or three times, before making an offer. Sure, he looks the part and is still young and improving, but dishing out a second round pick based on potential is a tough pill to swallow for another team.
Stephen Bowen - This was a must, not because Bowen is such a great player but because with the likelihood that Chris Canty has played his last game as a Cowboy, Dallas had to protect themselves. Either Bowen or Jason Hatcher is going to get the first shot at replacing Canty (assuming he does leave) unless they figure out a way to get some serious help at NT and are able to move Jay Ratliff back to DE. I don't expect any team to give up a second-round pick to acquire Bowen.
Sam Hurd - Kind of curious, they probably could have gone with the lower ($1.01 million) tender and still gotten away with it. I don't think Hurd is going to be targeted by other teams for WR purposes, but they may have feared a team coming in and grabbing him for special teams. Hurd does do a very good job on those units and he could still contribute as a WR if needed. I'm OK with the move considering its only half-a-million dollars more. (Notice how nonchalant I am with Jerry's money)
Cory Procter - WTF? I just have no words for this.
Tony Curtis - Star of stage and screen Tony Curtis no longer a Cowboy? Say it isn't so. I kid! Maybe they bring him back at a cheap price or maybe they like Rodney Hannah enough to go with him as the third TE. Either way, I'm good with this move.
By the way, the Cowboys and every team in the NFL just got an extra $4 million in cap room. We could use it.