The Dallas Cowboys lost a bit of their negotiating leverage surrounding the Doug Free talks when free agent offensive lineman Tyson Clabo signed a new deal. Still, the Cowboys aren't ready to back down, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Dallas is asking Free to take a "substantial" pay cut of more than $2 million.
Free is set to make $7 million this season, a figure that the Cowboys don't want to pay him. While this is what his current contract calls for, Dallas -- and likely Free -- know that the offensive lineman wouldn't garner this type of deal if he were on the open market.
For this reason, the Cowboys are asking Free to take a pay cut, something he has apparently been hesitant to do. There has been talk that the team is willing to cut ties with Free, even though it would cause a cap hit of $10 million. This could at least be spread out over this season and next season if it comes after June 1.
By waiting until June, the Cowboys will also put Free in a tight spot, as his potential list of suitors will lessen by that time. Dallas also still has free agent options remaining -- including Eric Winston and Winston Justice -- to replace Free should they release him.
Looking for fantasy football advice?