Cowboys have a three-year deal with Doug Free.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 7, 2015
Multiple sources confirm Todd Archer's initial report that the Cowboys have signed Doug Free to a three-year contract. There had been reports yesterday that the Cowboys and Free were on the verge of a deal, so this doesn't come as a total surprise.
The Cowboys initially drafted Free in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. Free got his first starts in 2009, became the full-time starter in 2010 and didn't miss a single game until an ankle injury in 2014, which caused him to miss five starts and the two playoff games. He's been the model of durability during over that 82-game stretch.
Free is widely seen as the leader of a young Dallas offensive line, and the Cowboys obviously thought it was important to keep last year's stellar offensive line together.
Despite the accolades the Cowboys offensive line has received, it remains one of the younger offensive lines in the league, and Free provides veteran leadership that is highly valued by his teammates and coaches.
In keeping the tested veteran, the Cowboys will likely not pursue backup right tackle Jermey Parnell, who stepped in during Free's absence last year and replaced him almost seamlessly.
Free's deal is reported to be for three years, and while no further contract details are yet available, the contract will likely keep the 31-year old Free in Dallas for the rest of his career.
Per Todd Archer of ESPNDallas Free's three-year deal is worth $15 million, with $6 million guaranteed. The deal will have a $3 million cap hit in 2015.