On a day that saw the Cowboys cut several high-priced veterans, Tuesday ended for the club with an expected big free-agent signing, one that had Cowboys fans worried for the last few months.
But according to multiple reports, left tackle Doug Free has agreed to re-sign with the Cowboys for a four-year deal worth $32 million, including $17 million in guaranteed money. Free, who had some offers from several other teams, including Tampa Bay, which started free agency with nearly $60 million in cap room, decided to return to the Cowboys, who drafted him in 2007 in the fourth round.
The big question mark surrounding Free was his experience, having only started at left tackle for one full season. But he did flourish in 2010, shutting down some of the top pass-rushers in the game, including Houston's Marion Williams and Chicago's Julius Peppers in consecutive weeks.
There was some speculation whether Free would remain on the left side after the Cowboys drafted Tyron Smith in the first round this past April. But it's likely that Free's contract, and the terms of the deal, should suggest that Free would start camp this week as the left tackle.
The Cowboys spent most of their day Tuesday cutting veterans such as Roy Williams and Marion Barber, and possibly two offensive linemen in Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo. It was reported earlier in the day that Colombo would be cut, but the uncertainty of Free's future forced the Cowboys to hold off on making such a move.
If Colombo does indeed return, it would likely be at a reduced price and a restructured contract. And definitely in a backup role, thanks to the re-signing of Free.