With a little under ten days remaining for teams to use their franchise tag, and about six teams having already done so, don’t expect the Dallas Cowboys to be one of them who does employ the safeguard against free agency.
The most likely candidate for the tag is left tackle Doug Free, but Free’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, recently said that he has not been contacted by the team as of yet. In ESPN Dallas’ Calvin Watkins’ estimation, it would cost the Cowboys around $10 million to franchise Free.
It’s far more likely that if Free does become a restricted free agent, the Cowboys will tender the left tackle at the highest value possible--the first- and third-round tender--and, as they did with Miles Austin, then attempt to iron out a long-term deal.
When we will get to this point is unknown, however as Free cannot become a free agent until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached between the owners and the NFL Players’ Association, a development that, given the contentious (and slow) manner of negotiations thus far, seems at least to be far off.
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