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What’s Going on With DT Antwaun Woods?

When will Antwaun Woods sign his ERFA tender?

Defensive Tackle Antwaun Woods is the only player the Dallas Cowboys placed a tender on this offseason who has yet to sign or receive a contract extension. There were rumors Woods was planning on signing his exclusive rights free agent tender back in early May, however, that hasn’t happened as of yet.

Exclusive rights free agent (ERFA): Any player with fewer than three accrued seasons and an expired contract. If his original team offers him a one-year contract at league minimum (based on his credited seasons), the player cannot negotiate with other teams.

As a ERFA, Antwaun Woods is pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place. He’s 27 years old and currently finds himself in a situation he has little to no leverage or control over. To make matters worse, he’s also looking at a demotion when/if he finally signs his tender and returns to the team.

With the offseason additions of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Neville Gallimore, and not to mention last year’s second-round pick Trysten Hill, Antwaun Woods is likely going from a two-year starter to a rotational player in 2020. That probably doesn’t sit too well with someone who was just getting used to making his mark in the NFL. Sadly though, it’s part of the business.

Antwaun Woods
Dallas Cowboys DT Antwaun Woods

As bad as all of that may sound, there’s still a place for Antwaun Woods in the defensive line rotation. Other than Dontari Poe, the Dallas Cowboys don’t really have another 1-tech on the roster. He may no longer be receiving the lion’s share of the workload, but being in a rotation could actually help him out in the long run.

As a full-time starter the last two years, Antwaun Woods has had to battle through his fair share of injuries. I think we can all remember how injuries impacted him in the NFC Divisional Round in 2018. The Rams took full advantage of him being banged up. Unfortunately, things didn’t get better in 2019. He struggled staying healthy all season last year.

As you can see, a rotational role could be what’s best in the long run for Woods. He will become an unrestricted free agent after the season and can finally test the market to see what he’s worth. Staying healthy and performing his best in 2020 can only help boost his stock, which at the moment is down.

I don’t know what No. 99 plans on doing, but if I were him I’d go ahead and sign my tender and choke down my pride a little. After all, there really isn’t any other alternative. That’s why I expect him to sign shortly, even though it’s been rumored of happening for nearly 2 months now.

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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  1. Don’t understand the logic behind not having him signed yet. With the age (and potential for injury) of Poe/McCoy coupled with the inexperience/lack of production from T Hill and Gallimore, u would think a 2 yr starter would be valuable insurance.

    • The Cowboys have done their part. That’s what the exclusive rights free agent tender is for. However, they have no control over when/if Woods signs that tender.

      • Signing him and putting the ERFA tender on him are 2 different things!! You wouldn’t be wondering what’s going on with him right now if they offered him a contract!! Putting the ERFA tender on him is an insult to him…. The tender is only paying him around $700,000, and that’s not right considering how good he is when he’s playing!! He does have an injury problem, but when he’s on the field he’s really good and that’s why he hasn’t signed his tender yet!! Now if the front office would’ve offered him a contract for a couple years worth a few million a year we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now!! So no, the Cowboys have NOT done their part!! The only thing they’ve done is insult the man!!

        • The Cowboys made a prudent and smart business move. You spend their resources too easily from your couch! Here’s a kid who may not even be in the league any longer were it not for Dallas, and now he has the chance to earn $700k a year … not a bad gig in my book. Why give him a contract bigger than that when he’s not even a lock to make this team? He also has the opportunity to prove himself around the league and earn even more, but not if he doesn’t play. He should sign, get reps, make plays, and let the rest take care of itself … it usually works out well.

          • Exactly.
            Woods has been replaced and is simply no longer a starter. The 700,000 is fair for being one of several backups at the interior defense line. Woods needs to be realistic about his status.
            And, really. 700,000 dollars is not an insult. Sports dollars do not come from another universe. A sports dollar counts the same as everyone else’s dollar and 700,000 is a large amount considering as a backup, he will likely play fewer than 150 snaps over the whole contract.

    • They are using the mechanism they have in place. They have his rights for 2 more years on cheap salaries. It is messed up for him, but you can’t blame a front office for using the methods in place to keep a player for cheap. Especially considering the ERFA tag gives the player absolutely no negotiating or trade rights.

  2. Well doubtful Woods sits out the yr over wanting more money. That rarely works out for players, especially a fringe one who might not even make the roster. If he had shown more production in the past he would’ve already been reupped.

  3. A disgruntled player with a bad attitude will not play up to his level of talent and will let the whole team down while on the field. Try to get him to improve his attitude with a better contract or he is trade bait. Too bad because I liked his production these last two years.

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