As it turns out, the Cowboys' decision not to franchise Doug Free might cost them more money to keep him. Or they could lose him.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the bidding for Cowboys left tackle Doug Free, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. "Tampa, Dallas in a dogfight for doug free. Could get REALLY expensive," Yahoo! reporter Jason Cole tweeted.
The Bucs are $59 million under the $120.4 million salary cap, so they have plenty of money to spend. Free would move back to right tackle, giving the Bucs a pair of bookend tackles with left tackle Donald Penn.
The Cowboys did not cut right tackle Marc Colombo on Tuesday as had been expected, possibly because of the danger of losing Free. Dallas drafted Tyron Smith in the first round, but the intent was to start him at right tackle, at least in his rookie season, with Free staying at left.
"We can't afford to lose him," one Cowboys' veteran said of Free. "Whatever it takes to sign him."
It might take a lot, a lot more than the Cowboys expected.
-- Charean Williams