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FA Forecast: Decisions Loom On Jarwin, Rush, More


With a new coaching staff and a long list of eligible free agents, the 2020 offseason promises to be a fascinating and critical stretch for the Dallas Cowboys.

The NFL's free agent signing period officially begins March 18, when unrestricted free agents can test their value on the open market. The Cowboys also have a March 18 deadline to make qualifying offers to their restricted free agents and obtain right of first refusal.

With so many decisions looming, the staff has grouped the Cowboys' 30 free-agents-to-be into five categories to analyze throughout the week.

We begin the five-part series with a closer look at the team's restricted and exclusive rights free agents.

Blake Jarwin, Tight End:

It's entirely possible that the Cowboys have a Jason Witten-sized void to fill at tight end this season. Jarwin, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2017, is the most likely candidate to step into a larger role if he is retained. Jarwin started seven games last season. In total, he recorded 365 yards and three touchdowns in 2019.

The only logical way Jarwin isn't with the Cowboys in 2020 is if another team signs him to an offer sheet and the Cowboys refuse to match. What makes the most sense is the Cowboys putting a second-round tender on Jarwin, which will likely keep other teams from pursuing him.

Cooper Rush, Quarterback:

Rush joined the Cowboys in 2017 as an undrafted free agent. Dak Prescott played through a shoulder injury in the final two games of last season, which may have reminded the team of the importance of a backup quarterback. They'll have to determine whether they want Rush to continue to play that role or find another backup through the draft or free agency.

The Cowboys will likely put the original-round tender on Rush, who was undrafted so there wouldn't be any draft compensation if he signed elsewhere.

Daniel Ross, Defensive Tackle:

The Cowboys signed Ross, who was undrafted, off of the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad in 2017. He spent all of last season on the injured reserve list after hurting his shoulder in August. Ross is a restricted free agent, but that doesn't exactly mean he will receive a tender offer. He's had some off-the-field issues that might prevent him from returning.

Adam Redmond, Center:

Redmond is an exclusive rights free agent, meaning he must accept a qualifying offer from the Cowboys if one is tendered. Redmond joined the Cowboys in 2018 after being waived by the Buffalo Bills. He was placed on injured reserve with a back injury in November.

Antwaun Woods, Defensive Tackle:

As an exclusive rights free agent, Woods can be retained by the Cowboys, who signed him in 2018, at an affordable contract. Woods started 10 games last season and has shown flashes of productivity, but injuries and off-season issues may factor into the decision.

Next Up:

  • Tuesday: Wait & See (9 Players)
  • Wednesday: For The Right Price (6 Players)
  • Thursday: Big Decisions to Make (5 Players)
  • Friday: High Priority Free Agents (5 Players)