Running back Marion Barber #24 of the Dallas Cowboys is lifted up by Doug Free #68 after scoring in the second quarter as Chris Gronkowski #44 looks on against the Houston Texans on September 26, 2010 in Houston, Texas.
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.
Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW Sports on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe to this free service. Read more about it here.