The Cowboys had a huge number of free agents heading into this 2020 offseason. Given that extensive list, not everybody was returning to the team (that doesn’t even happen in years with a smaller amount of free agents). Dallas had to make some hard decisions, like letting Byron Jones go, but now they have gotten through most of the list by either re-signing players, or seeing them sign contracts elsewhere. But there are still a few left.
First, let’s take a look at the raw stats. According to the mothership FA tracker, the Cowboys started with a total of 32 UFA, RFA & ERFA, or players with options for 2020. The team either re-signed or picked up options on 15 of them. Eight players left to sign contracts with other teams.
That leaves nine players with situations unresolved. Here’s is that list and a brief look at the chances of a return.
WR | Tavon Austin
The Cowboys do need a slot receiver, but the former regime didn’t use Austin in that role very often in his two years with the team. Austin is supposedly a return specialist, and new special teams coordinator John Fassel had him for a few years with the Rams. This has the feel of - if the new staff wanted him, they would have re-signed him by now. So the chances of a return seem low.
DT | Christian Covington
Covington is among a long list of interior defensive linemen who remain unsigned by the Cowboys. It leads to the feeling that new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan wasn’t thrilled with what he saw on tape from the interior, and already made a move for Gerald McCoy. But Covington could be the kind of safe, cheap veteran they will eventually bring back for depth.
DT | Michael Bennett
As a vet with a name, he might want a little more than what the Cowboys would be willing to do. There is also the fit with the new scheme to think about. It feels like if anything, they would bring him back as a defensive end, but that doesn’t seem likely at all.
DT | Daniel Ross
Ross’ arrest last season won’t help his cause, and he’s never really done anything that screams “sign me”, although he has flashed occasionally.
DT | Antwaun Woods
This is really a curious case. Woods was a starter and seemed to do a pretty good job as a run-stuffing tackle in the middle. He was an ERFA so with the stroke of a pen, the Cowboys could have had him back on a very cheap contract. Yet, that hasn’t happened. This may be part of a planned total re-tool of the interior.
DL | Kerry Hyder
Hyder is a hybrid that can move from end to tackle. He seems like a good depth signing, but you start to wonder if the new regime on defense just wants to re-do that defensive line besides some players already under contract.
LB | Malcolm Smith
Smith had a brief cameo at the end of the year for the Cowboys and played pretty well. But with the Cowboys re-signing Sean Lee, Joe Thomas and Justin March, the room for another depth veteran seems slim.
LB | Ray-Ray Armstrong
Seems really unlikely.
S | Kavon Frazier
This is an interesting case. Frazier is a special teams ace and should be the kind of player John Fassel would really push for. The Cowboys re-signed Darian Thompson and Donovan Wilson is still there along with presumed starters Xavier Woods and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Is there room for Frazier?
So BTB, which players would you want back from this list?