Last season when the Dallas Cowboys were dealing with two big-time free agents, it made perfect sense to place the franchise tag on someone — either DeMarco Murray or Dez Bryant.
The tag restricts a player from going elsewhere but pays them a one-year deal worth a handsome amount of money — the top of the heap of players at the respective position.
The Cowboys decided to franchise Bryant before eventually giving him a long-term deal before the 2015 season began.
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This year, however, there doesn't seem to be anyone worth using the tag on, and it's unlikely the Cowboys will designate anyone as their franchise player.
Here's what ESPN's Cowboys writer Todd Archer had to say:
Unlike last year, when the Cowboys used the franchise tag on wide receiver Dez Bryant, they don't have a player worth using the tag on this year. Defensive end Greg Hardy had it written into the deal he signed last offseason that the Cowboys could not use the tag on him in 2016. Since he had just six sacks in 12 games last season, the Cowboys would not have put such a big financial claim into Hardy anyway.
Time will tell, I suppose, but don't expect anyone to get that hefty payday on the Cowboys roster, although some possible Cowboys free agent targets like Von Miller (Denver) and Alshon Jeffery (Chicago) could get it from their respective teams, taking them off the market.