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Ellis: Signing Rookies Not So Easy After All

The new collective bargaining agreement was expected to make contract negotiations with rookie draft picks much simpler, and that may be the case eventually.

But not this year. While the team agreed to terms with a full crop of undrafted free agents, contracts with the eight draft picks will be more difficult to come by, it seems.

The length of the deals are not the issue. Under the terms of the CBA, Tyron Smith will receive a four-year contract with a club option for a fifth year, while the other seven picks will each receive four-year deals, becoming restricted free agents after three years.

The pay for first-round picks will be greatly reduced this year, however because these are some of the first contracts being worked out under the new CBA, there is apparently a good deal of confusion between player agents and front offices. The Cowboys and nine other clubs opening camps on Wednesday are somewhat disadvantaged because there is little precedent for how the structure the contracts.

Players under contract are to report to the Alamodome in San Antonio Wednesday morning, but at this point it would be a bit of a surprise if all the draft picks were on hand.

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