IRVING, Texas – Offseason moves are all about leverage. And unless the Cowboys act soon on tackle Doug Free, they might not have much of it.
The Cowboys are still waiting to hear back from Free and his side about taking a pay cut from his $7 million salary he's due this upcoming season. Seeing him play at that price would be rather shocking after a down year, and the Cowboys have a tough decision to make in the coming weeks and months.
Free, meanwhile, must decide if it's wiser to take the pay cut or risk being cut and testing the market.
But the rest of the NFL doesn't lie dormant as the Cowboys and Free wait to make a decision.
Teams are already beginning to pursue free agent tackles Tyson Clabo and Eric Winston, the offensive linemen whose names have been thrown around as possibilities for the starting right tackle spot in Dallas. The Dolphins are reportedly interested in both players.
The Cowboys' options will dwindle quickly once one of those tackles signs elsewhere. In addition, the leverage swings to Free, who knows the team holds fewer options the longer he waits this out.
If the Cowboys know what decision they want to make, they'd be wise to act with urgency.