Feb 272013
 
Is Doug Free?

Is Doug Free?

Will the Cowboys release Doug Free after signing him to a big contract a couple of years ago? The answer is not as simple as it sounds.

Your Dallas Cowboys have some big fish to fry before the season begins:

  1. They have changed from the 3-4 to the 4-3 on defense. With Anthony Spencer, the team’s leading tackler from 2012, a free agent, the Cowboys need to either franchise him (which will cost roughly $10 million), sign him to a long-term contract or move on. Before they decide what to do with Spencer, they have to decide whether he will be effective as a defensive end in a 4-3 versus his natural position as a 3-4 outsider linebacker.
  2. They have to address a porous offensive line that gave up 36 sacks (how did Romo survive?) and produced a paltry average of 3.6 yards per carry on the ground.
  3. They are currently $30 million over the cap.

One place the Cowboys may look for cap relief is at right tackle. Two years ago, after Doug Free had a breakout year at left tackle, the Cowboys signed him to a big contract. Then They drafted Tyron Smith and moved Free to right tackle, where he struggled mightily. Free had eight fals starts and seven holding penalties in 2012, giving him the lead in penalties accrued among NFL tackles. The reason you jump the snap and hold defenders is simple: You are getting beat. By season’s end, Free found himself in a rotation at RT with Jeremy Parnell. That is how far his once-shining star had fallen.

Nick Eatman of dallascowboys.com writes:

If the Cowboys cut Free right now as a straight release, he would not count anything against the cap either way, as a complete wash. But to save some money, the Cowboys could designate him a June 1 release and save $7 million off this year’s cap. Then next year, Free would count $7 million as dead money in 2014.

Freeing up money is just one issue. There is still the issue of plugging holes in one of the NFL’s leakiest lines.

Apparently, however, owner Jerry Jones does not think having a good offensive line is all that big of a deal, as long as you have Tony Romo at QB:

“If you’re going to have a guy…that can handle a porous offensive line, it’s Tony,” Jones said. “Tony has some of the best percentages operating behind pressure situation of anyone in the NFL. If there were a place theoretically that you had to have a weakness with Tony Romo at quarterback, that might be a place to have it. You just can’t’ have it all.”

I am not even going to get into whether or not this is proof solid that the world’s wackiest billionaire has finally lost his entire mind and is officially ready for the rest home or maybe even a rubber room and a strait jacket.

For the moment, I just wonder what will become of Doug Free and whether it matters at all. Whatever the Cowboys brain trust (I use the term lightly) decides to do with Doug, it won’t be cheap…and it sure ain’t free.

Gene Strother (372 Posts)

Gene has been an avid Dallas Cowboys fan for nearly five decades, which amounts to just about his entire life. The only time he was not a Cowboys fan was that brief period at the beginning of his life, when he didn't have all his baby teeth and could not yet say "Cowboys." As soon as quit slobbering, he started hollering, "Go Cowboys!"


4 comments
Cruiser 08
Cruiser 08

Cut Free now, 2013 looks like another 8-8 year at best. The ridiculous coaching changes will change nothing. It's just window dressing by Jerry who absolutely has lost his marbles. Aside from the Cowboy sheep, everyone else knows the Cowboys are a joke and no light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.

Jack
Jack

They should straight up cut him. If they wait and do it after June 1st, then there is a -7M for this year and a +7M for 2014.. do not comit to impacting the 2014 year with trying to do something in 2013. It's unrealistic to even think that 2013 will be competitive in potentially making the playoffs or going to the SB. besides, if they cut him late for cash this year, they already will spend it on something not worth the cost.

Jack
Jack

Look to the draft and UDFAs to fill in the gaps at a low cost. Get rid of the older and high cost items.Conner, Felix, Austin, Ratliff, Spears, Coleman, Free, both the new guards picked up in FA from last year, as well as Costa.. Costa is not a high price item but he does not have the size and doesn't have the arn length. The 2013 7th round draft pick is starting... meaning last year we traded to get Cook for a 7th round draft pick and he started. He did a good job.

Jack
Jack

either cut Costa or keep him at a managed low cost for 2 year back up project.. try to add him to FB or TE for run support jumbo package. even doing so has it's disadvantage, which would mean keeping him active roster, it's usally best to teach a DL this unless a gameday active roster lineman can handle it.. meaning Costa has to be able to be a walk in guard/center mid game. right now, he looks like a progress stopper but for a 2 year low cost, it's enough time to invest in the DL this year and pick up a Center next year in the draft to groom.