Dallas Cowboys RFA Decisions: Hurd 'Em Up, Head 'Em out

Gene StrotherCorrespondent IIIMarch 8, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 25:  Sam Hurd #17 and Miles Austin #19 of the Dallas Cowboys walk out onto the field before the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 25, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 27-26.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sam Hurd is done in Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys elected not to tender the restricted free agent.

In his four seasons with the Cowboys, Sam Hurd caught just 45 passes for 630 yards and two touchdowns. He has languished on the bench as a second- and third-string wide receiver for the entirety of his career. Despite showing flashes of potential, bigger names and contracts have always taken precedent. (Hello, Roy Williams.)

Sam Hurd has been a standout as a special teams player. The Cowboys, however, do not think that warrants a tender and Hurd is not satisfied to remain in his current role. He wants to be in a place where he can challenge for a starting position.

In other restricted free-agent news, The Cowboys did give Doug Free the highest tender, meaning that another team wanting to offer him more would have to give the Cowboys a first- and third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft in order to do so, provided the Cowboys did not match whatever offer the other team made.

It would have cost the team $10 million to slap the franchise tag on Doug Free, so the Cowboys have taken a calculated risk with the RFA tender, especially when you consider that Free was hands down, far and away, unquestionably (and any other superlative qualifiers you might think of) the best offensive lineman on the team in 2010.

In addition to Free’s tender, defensive ends Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher received second-round tenders and safety Alan Ball was given a seventh-round tender.

Of course, this all assumes that when the NFL and the NFL Players Association finally shake hands on a new deal, the restricted free agent rules still apply in the same way they currently do.

If all goes according to plan, Hurd is free and Free is herded into the fold for at least another year.