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.
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.