Per Michael Lombardi of NFL.com, the Eagles were the Cowboys’ “chief rival” for Doug Free:
The Cowboys knew once the lockout ended they would need to re-sign Free, but I am sure they never anticipated the Eagles would be their chief rival in securing Free’s services. It was a hard-fought battle to get Free back, as the Eagles wanted him badly to play him at their right tackle spot. The Cowboys’ offensive line would have taken a huge step backwards had they not secured Free.
Back in February, I had Doug Free earmarked as a player that the Eagles should make a serious run at, as it would be a perfect fit for them at right tackle, with the added bonus that it would all but cripple a division rival. Joe Banner had made reference that there was one player they had targeted that they didn’t get. It appears that guy was Free. Free ultimately signed with Dallas for a figure that I found surprisingly low – 4 years, $32 million. Three interesting questions in the wake of Lombardi’s report:
– Did Free turn down more money from Philly to play in Dallas?
– Did the Eagles drive up the price on Free, thus perhaps unwittingly hurting the Cowboys’ chances of landing Nnamdi Asomugha?
– What do the Eagles think of Winston Justice?