The Cowboys finally made their offers officially today. They chose to give tender offers to every player on their list of restricted free agents except for Sean Suisham. I'm a little surprised by a few of the offers but I like the strategy they are trying to use in most cases. By making the tender offers the Cowboys are essentially giving themselves a fall back plan in the event that they can't find a better option in free agency or the draft.
The Miles Austin offer was no surprise. The Cowboys are guaranteed the right to match any offer Miles receives and would receive a first and third round pick if any team was able to sign him to a deal the Cowboys wouldn't match. He'll be back next season barring the use of the "poison pill".
I'm a little surprised that the Cowboys didn't do more to protect Marcus Spears. He received a second round tender offer. Spears isn't a dynamic playmaker but he is a great run defender. I'm thinking the Cowboys are letting the market set the terms for a long term deal. I just hope they didn't set the bar too low for Spears.
Sam Hurd also received a second round tender offer. He falls into the category of a guy they are keeping around as insurance. I'm sure they'll explore options in the draft and free agency, but Hurd would be a great fall back option if nothing else pans out.
Gerald Sensabaugh also only received a second round tender offer. I know Gerald was talking about a long term deal after the season ended but I think the Cowboys want to be sure they don't overpay for his services. The tender offer allows the Cowboys to see what the rest of the league thinks of him which will essentially dictate the terms of any multi-year offer the Cowboys might make him.
Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen also got second round tenders. I think both of these guys would be happy to make the $1.759 million the offer guarantees them for next season. The odds of losing a backup defensive player at the expense of a second round pick is very slim. It looks like they'll both be back next season.
For some reason the Cowboys continue to hold on to Cory Procter. I don't see it with this guy but I guess the Cowboys just love the fact that he plays guard and center. In my opinion he is a waste at guard but we haven't seen much out of him at center. I guess the coaches know more than the rest of us so there must be something to Procter we aren't seeing in the games.
Overall, I think the Cowboys made the smart play here. They gave themselves protection on 12 of the 13 RFA's. And they didn't mess around with a lower tender offer for Miles Austin. I'm sure Miles will be signed to a long term deal this summer or early in the 2010 season. The Cowboys are going to let the market dictate the terms of any long term deals with the rest of the RFA's. And I'm sure some of these guys will be traded or released either before, during or after the draft is completed.
The Cowboys still have holes to fill on the roster. But it looks like they did a good job preventing new ones from forming. Now they can play the field and determine if there are better options without feeling the desperation most teams have going into the offseason.