As it turns out, the Cowboys did right by Barry Church, locking up a player they see as a future starter with a significant guarantee.
The third-year safety, who is out for the year with a torn Achilles, got a four-year extension with a $2.5 million signing bonus and $3.9 million in guaranteed money, according to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
He would have been a restricted free agent next year, and they could have squatted on him for another year while they saw how he rehabbed, but went ahead with a deal they had been talking about prior to the injury.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said Church is well worth the investment.
“That’s awesome, this guy and all you guys saw it, he’s going to be a superstar in this league,” Ryan said. “You get a guy early, and he comes out of that injury healthy and this guy is going to be a fantastic safety so it’s real unfortunate, I think I shed a few tears on that one when we lost him for the year.
“I think it’s one of those things you do have to get over, but it’s fantastic for the Cowboys organization and hopefully I can be a part of his career for a long time.”
And they should have a loyal player on their hands as well, after negotiating in good faith when they didn’t have to.