The Cowboys have been linked to free agent right tackle Eric Winston for a while now without much movement toward actually signing the veteran to a contract.
Winston said that he is looking for $3-4 million, a salary that’s been too rich for the blood of the Cowboys and everyone else in the NFL to this point. Winston’s desired salary would be a good bit less than the one the Cowboys are scheduled to pay the underwhelming Doug Free, although executive vice president Stephen Jones said Tuesday that Free remains a strong possibility to remain with the team even though they continue to take a look at Winston.
“He’s obviously somebody that we’re taking a look at. We certainly haven’t dismissed Doug. We really felt like when we went to rotating him and Jermey Parnell that he really picked up his game in terms of the competition, not to mention the fact that I think he got some clarity as to what [offensive line coach] Bill Callahan was after,” Jones said on KRLD, via the Dallas Morning News. “I think there’s some interest and prospects there between what we have and what we could get. Obviously on the interior part of our line the same thing holds true. I think we had some injuries there. Another year under Bill and more work, and not to mention what might happen in the draft. We’ll just have to see how that goes.”
Winston and other veteran free agent tackles on the market will likely be in a holding pattern until after the draft as teams wait to see if they fill their needs from the college ranks. Not everyone’s going to be able to do that and Winston will make for a decent consolation prize for one of them.