The Dallas Cowboys are making a notable move involving one of their key starters.

As reported by Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys are placing a second-round tender on offensive tackle Terence Steele, who will be a restricted free agent this offseason.

“Cowboys are placing the second-round tender on restricted free agent Terence Steele, a person familiar with decision said today,” says Gehlken. “The right tackle is ahead of schedule in his return from ACL surgery.”

What Second-Round Tender Means for Terence Steele

The second-rounder tender on Steele is worth $4.3 million. The tender means other teams will have the right to reach contract terms with Steele by April 21. However, the Cowboys will have the right to match the offer. If Dallas chooses to let Steele go, the Cowboys would then receive a second-round draft pick as compensation.

The 25-year-old is coming off of a serious ACL injury suffered in Week 14 of the 2022 season. Prior to the injury, Steele had started all 13 of his appearances, primarily playing the right tackle position.

Despite the severity of his injury, Steele is on track to return by training camp, as noted by team executive Stephen Jones.

Via Todd Archer of ESPN:

“Stephen Jones said Terence Steele is ahead of schedule in his return from torn ACL/MCL and expects him to be ready for training camp,” said Archer on Tuesday, February 28. “Set to be a restricted free agent, Cowboys working through which tender they will give him: first ($6 million) or second round ($4.3 million).”

During his three seasons with the Cowboys, Steele has served as a full-time starter, starting 40 of his 45 appearances.

According to Pro Football Focus, Steele posted a 73.9 offensive grade and 82.1 run-blocking grade last season. Steele ranked 25th among all offensive tackles in offensive grade and eighth in run-blocking grade.

According to OverTheCap, Steele’s contract valuation based upon his 2022 performance is over $11.5 million. That type of contract would make Steele one of the top 25 paid tackles in the NFL.

The Cowboys already feature rookie Tyler Smith and eight-time Pro Bowler Tyron Smith at the tackle positions on the roster. Dallas obviously wants Steele back, but his value proves to be too much in free agency, Dallas could allow him to walk and opt …read more



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