Cowboys officials sent a letter to cornerback Bryan McCann saying they will retain him as an exclusive rights free agent. The team had until March 3 to designate McCann or risk losing him without receiving compensation from another team.
McCann will not sign any deal until the new collective bargaining agreement is completed.
In his rookie season, McCann, a SMU product, returned an interception 101 yards for a touchdown and averaged 20.6 yard per punt return. McCann also had 23 kick returns for 507 yards.
Exclusive rights free agents are players who have less than three seasons of accrued NFL service time and are without a contract. Wide receiver Jesse Holley is also expected to be retained as an exclusive rights free agent.
The Cowboys are expected to offer tender offers this week to their other restricted free agents, though most players won't sign the deals until the labor issues between the players and owners are completed.