- Matt Mosley of Fox Sports Southwest mentioned earlier that he expected the Cowboys to sign Free to a contract extension “quite soon.”
There hasn’t been a lot of buzz in recent days regarding right tackles Free and Jermey Parnell, due to notable free agents like WR Dez Bryant and RB DeMarco Murray, but they are two of the best available offensive tackle free agents in this year’s class.
Dallas doesn’t have a ton of cap space to work with, so they’ll need to be cautious as to how they spend their money in the coming weeks.
Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones admitted previously that face a tough decision regarding Free and Parnell.
“That’s another decision we have to make,” Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Jermey played really well and I think a lot of teams will throw on the tape and watch him play and probably a lot of people will consider him a starter.”
“We’ll have to make a tough decision there with Doug and Jermey. Hopefully we’ll at least keep one of them.”
Parnell is younger than Free, so there’s a chance he could command more in terms of salary on the open market. I’m sure the Cowboys have gauged the asking prices of both players with the intention of re-signing whoever is willing to accept the more team-friendly contract.
Free, 31, signed a four-year, $32 million deal that included $17 million guaranteed with the Cowboys back in 2011. There has a lot of talk shortly after he signed the contract that he could be a cap casualty, but Free reworked his contract last year to remain with the team.
Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 21 offensive tackle in the league last season, which includes positive ratings in both run and pass-protection. Both players are featured in our Top 100 Free Agents list.
We’ll have more updates regarding Free and the Cowboys as the news is available.