11:05am: Archer has more details on the contract. The three-year deal is worth $15MM, with $6MM in guaranteed money. The offensive lineman’s last big contract came in 2011, when he inked a four-year pact with Dallas worth $32MM ($17MM guaranteed).
10:10am: The deal is done, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets that the two sides have agreed to a three-year contract. Financial terms of the deal have not been released.
12:07am: The Cowboys and Doug Free are closing in on an agreement on a multiyear contract that will keep Doug Free off the free agent market, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Matt Mosley of ESPN 103.3 in Dallas was the first to report (via Twitter) that the Cowboys were getting close to bringing back their right tackle.
By re-signing Free, the Cowboys will hold together an offensive line widely regarded as the league’s best. Free, who will return to right tackle, and left guard Ronald Leary were the only Dallas linemen not named to the Pro Bowl this past year — left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick, and right guard Zack Martin all earned spots on the Pro Bowl roster, with Smith and Martin landing on the NFL’s All-Pro First Team.
Free, 31, missed some time due to an ankle injury in 2014, snapping a streak of consecutive games played that had dated back to the 2009 season. The veteran has manned the right tackle spot in Dallas since 2012, when Smith first made the switch to the left side. This past season, he ranked 21st out of 84 qualified tackles, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required), performing particularly well as a run blocker for DeMarco Murray.
With Free close to being locked up, the Cowboys may be less inclined to bring back free agent tackle Jermey Parnell, who may be seeking a starting opportunity elsewhere anyway. Parnell has played well when he’s had a chance to see the field in recent years, but wouldn’t see much action in Dallas as long as the team’s current five starters remain in the picture.