Originally written on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 5/17/13
No one questioned the Dallas Cowboys for giving offensive tackle Doug Free a lucrative, long-term contract in 2011. The former fourth-round pick had been the club's most consistent linemen and other teams were poised to sign him in free agency. It was hard to imagine him completely regressing as a player and ultimately platooning at right tackle with the inexperienced Jermey Parnell. The Cowboys didn't want to completely give up on Free following his dismal 2012 season, but they also didn't want to continue paying him roughly 7 million per season. On Thursday, the Cowboys ended this awkward standoff by agreeing to a contract that will pay him 7 million total over the next two seasons, according to sources. Only next year's 3.5 million will be guaranteed. The new deal should free up close to 3.5 million in salary-cap room, which could go toward players such as Sean Lee who will soon become an unrestricted free agent. Free seemed to respond reasonably well when he was forced into ...
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