Doug Free might compete for starting RT job

PHOENIX -- Cowboys starting right tackle Doug Free might have to compete with Jermey Parnell to keep the starting job in 2013 -- if he's on the team at all.

The Cowboys could ask Free to take a paycut, release him, which would make him a post-June 1 cut saving $7 million or just allow him to remain on the team.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said a decision doesn't need to happen before the April 25 draft regarding Free.

"I think there’s more to it, without trying to talk in riddles," Jones said. "There’s more to it. That implies a decision after the draft on Free, and we may be doing things there with our offensive line before the draft, relative to Free."

Jones wouldn't answer a question directly about Free taking a paycut.

"You can ask for that, or the other thing you can do is look at the amount you save relative to cutting him, under the cap," Jones said. "Now that’s money. Ultimately, you don’t dismiss that. I don’t dismiss that you’re dealing with that kind of money."

Jones later added, "Frankly, we’ve got -- and it’s really born out on our evaluation -- the combination there of Parnell and Free. That combination, because the act of splitting time gives you a great [backup] tackle situation, which you’ve got to have in the ballgame anyway, and, boy, they played well together out there."