Dallas Cowboys: 3 Players to proactively re-sign this summer

Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Antwaun Woods #99 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys Player to Re-sign No. 3: Antwaun Woods

Defensive Tackle

Age: 27

There’s a lot to consider when discussing Antwaun Woods. First, it’s the position he plays: 1 tech DT. The 1-tech doesn’t get the fancy numbers the other defensive linemen get but he’s every bit as important. It’s the 1-tech who holds the line and maintains the integrity of the pocket. He occupies blockers and keeps his linebackers jersey’s clean behind him.

When Woods has been healthy, he’s been pretty darn good in this role – Rating far and away Dallas top interior run-stopper over the last two seasons. But Dallas has historically lacked depth at the 1-tech and when Woods got banged up there weren’t any viable options behind him.

The Dallas Cowboys alieviated that by bringing in Dontari Poe in free agency. Poe, the clear 1-tech starter, will be the man in the middle for Dallas. And Woods, will slide into the rotation behind him (rotation – not backup). Finally the Cowboys are set at the 1-tech, the only problem is Woods is unhappy with his contract (or lack thereof).

Which brings us to our second point to consider: Woods’ discontent.

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Since Woods’ career began on the Titans practice squad, his first two seasons don’t count under his years of service. That means he’s not set to hit actual unrestricted free agency until 2022 (when he’s 29). That’s why he has yet to sign his tender and that’s why he’s been threatening to hold out. The guy wants some long-term security before it’s too late.

The Dallas Cowboys signed Dontari Poe to a 2-year deal with just a 1-year commitment. That means having depth behind him isn’t just smart for this season, it’s imperative for next season. Locking Woods into a low-cost 3-year deal will insure the position going forward and earn good-will from one of the most underrated players on the D-line.

This is an extremely inexpensive way to shore up the 1-tech position for the foreseeable future and doesn’t step on the toes of young DTs Trysten Hill or Neville Gallimore since they will play 3-tech behind Gerald McCoy.

Speculative investments: Conclusions

As with all speculative investments, there is an element of risk involved when guaranteeing future monies to unknown commodities.  The Dallas Cowboys struck gold when they locked up Zack Martin and La’el Collins early because those players significantly outperformed their extensions. But the Cowboys caught the raw end of the deal by extending Jaylon Smith and Ezekiel Elliott before they had two since both players immediately produced poor seasons after signing their extensions.

As with all speculative investments, there is an element of risk involved when guaranteeing future monies to unknown commodities.

None of the players listed will command top dollar today and if the Cowboys see budding stars, they’d be wise to consider any or all of these players listed. If all of the new CBs look like projects in training camp, they need to lock in Chido. If Trevon looks like a star, maybe securing Chido isn’t that important.

Same with safety. If Woods looks like he’s thriving in the new system the Cowboys would be wise to lock him up long-term. His floor is low, versatility high, and potential strong. With no safeties under contract beyond this year we know they can justify it. Woods makes sense from an insurance perspective. He’s a proven player who can fit in any DT rotation. And if Dallas really does run more odd-man fronts, having a NT like Woods is must.

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In addition to re-signing Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys should take a look at these three players because each one could increase his value considerably with a solid 2020.