The Dallas Cowboys just secured two of their key roleplayers heading into next week's NFL Draft. Wide Receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. and Defensive Tackle Antwaun Woods have signed their restricted free agent tenders, making both official parts of the 2021 roster.
Wilson is not only a key reserve at receiver but is also one of the Cowboys ‘top return specialists. Woods has been a mainstay at DT for a couple years now, occasionally starting and logging more snaps than most of his fellow defensive linemen.
A couple procedural moves today for Cowboys. NT Antwaun Woods and WR Cedrick Wilson both signed their tenders as restricted free agents, the team announced. Officially back in 2021.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 22, 2021
Dallas tendered both Wilson and Woods at the lowest, “original draft pick” level for restricted free agents. Players with only three accrued seasons in the NFL aren't eligible for unrestricted free agency and instead are subject to the RFA process.
Had another team wanted to sign Wilson or Woods, Dallas would've had the right to match that offer and keep the player. If they declined to match, the Cowboys would have received a draft pick back from the new team which matched wherever the player had originally been selected.
Wilson was a 6th-round pick in 2018 and Woods went undrafted in 2016. So even if team had tried to sign them, obviously the return for Dallas would have been minimal to nothing.
Given this, the Cowboys are much better off keeping both of these players on the roster in 2021. They will be fairly cheap at just about $2.1 million each on their one-year deals.
Wilson is a capable 4th receiver and has big-game potential if needed, as we last last year in Seattle. Cedrick stepped up with five catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns, showcasing what he could do if one of Dallas' top-three receivers were to miss time.
Woods has been one of the Cowboys' busiest defensive linemen the last few years. His 459 snaps in 2020 were the most of any defensive tackle and only DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith had more playing time among all defensive linemen.
Sure, neither of these players are stars. But having reliable depth going into the draft helps give the Cowboys leverage for next week. It allows them to worry less about the WR and DT positions, looking for true upgrades opportunities and waiting for value to fall to them, rather than potentially reaching for need.
For at least one more season, Cedrick Wilson and Antwaun Woods will help bolster their respective positions for the Dallas Cowboys. We'll see if 2021 gives them more opportunities to prove themselves before they finally get to be true free agents next offseason.