Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys give restricted free agent guard Ron Leary second-round tender

Dallas Cowboys guard Ronald Leary, a restricted free agent, received the second-round tender Monday, guaranteeing him $2.553 million in 2016.
Dallas Cowboys guard Ronald Leary, a restricted free agent, received the second-round tender Monday, guaranteeing him $2.553 million in 2016. Star-Telegram

The Dallas placed a second-round tender on restricted free agent guard Ron Leary and a low tender on restricted free agent safety Jeff Heath.

The second-round tender guarantees Leary a salary of $2.553 million next season, while Heath gets $1.671 million.

The key with Leary is that the Cowboys get a second-round draft pick in return if he signs a contract with another team. With Heath, the Cowboys have the right to match an outside offer, but would get no draft-pick compensation.

Leary, who came to the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2012, could draw some interest in free agency. He was a two-year starter before being benched in 2015 for highly-touted rookie La’el Collins.

He was a key part of the 2014 line that paved the way for DeMarco Murray’s team-record 1,845 yards rushing.

It still makes for an interesting situation for the Cowboys.

The $2.5 million salary is high price for a backup guard who could be inactive for much of the season. But so is a second-round draft pick for a former undrafted free agent who is now considered a backup.

There is a chance Leary could sign with another team with the two sides working out a trade for less than the second-round pick.

Leary just wants to play and be rewarded for his hard work.

“I just want what I deserve.... But I know #GodGotMe,” Leary posted on Twitter Monday.

Heath is a core special teams who player will likely not draw a lot of interest. He is expected to sign his tender and return to the Cowboys next season.

As free agency looms, the owner says there are reasons he may want the controversial defensive end back with Dallas. (Video by Clarence Hill)

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