The deadline for teams to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets passed last week. The Cowboys placed the second-round tender on Leary worth $2.553 million, which made it unlikely a team would give up such compensation for him.
Leary lost his starting job to La'el Collins last season and played in only four games, all starts. He started every game he played (31) in 2013 and ’14.
Now that he has signed the tender, it would allow the Cowboys to make a potential trade of Leary, who will be a restricted free agent in 2017. He has proven himself to be a dependable starter on a strong offensive line. Before the Cowboys could deal him he needed to sign the tender.
The Cowboys signed veteran Joe Looney as a free agent to handle the backup center and guard roles on game days. Leary strictly plays guard and could face being inactive on game days if Collins continues as the starter.
The Cowboys’ only other restricted free agent was safety Jeff Heath, who signed a four-year contract extension worth nearly $7.7 million.