The Dallas Cowboys‘ contractual stalemate with Doug Free is finally over, although neither side will benefit from the new “deal.” Free was originally due $7 million in 2013 and he was set to count $10.02 million against the salary cap and now he will make $3.5 million in each of the next two seasons. Free will also be a free agent again at the end of the 2014 season, meaning his contract has been shortened by two years.
Free’s first free agent contract with Dallas was for an average of $8 million per year and now he’ll make $7 million over two years while trying to get back to the level of play he displayed in the 2010 season that earned him the big pay raise. Although this frees up $3.5 million in cap space, the Cowboys have already missed out on improving the right tackle position in free agency and even though Eric Winston is still on the market, Free being on the roster in 2013 means no additional offensive tackles will be signed to compete for the starting job this season. In other words, expect more of the same, Cowboys fans.
Now that finances are no longer a factor, Free will compete with Jeremy Parnell for the starting job after the two rotated near the end of the 2012 season. Neither is a quality starter, but the Cowboys have no other options at this point. So basically, the cap room won’t be used to help the team this season; it will likely be used to extend linebacker Sean Lee‘s contract since he’s set to be a free agent this time next year. Not only that, but the Cowboys didn’t improve this problem position at all. Typical Jerry.