I don’t know the exact week we’re in with the DFS, Doug Free Situation, but it’s dragged on too long for the Dallas Cowboys. Here’s what we know; Free was one of the worst tackles in the league last year, so the Cowboys asked him to take a pay cut or risk getting released, and neither has happened yet.
During the time the Cowboys have been in the DFS, they have flirted with tackles Eric Winston and Tyson Clabo on some level or another. Both would have been a massive upgrade over Free and the Cowboys could make their off-season complete by signing either one of them. Think about it, the Cowboys almost bypass the entire offensive line in the draft when everyone knows they need to desperately upgrade it. Maybe in some small measure they believed they could draft Travis Frederick, release or reduce Free and then sign Clabo or Winston, which would make the draft pieces all fit together.
Now here we sit a few weeks later and one of the options, Clabo, is off the table and the Cowboys have reduced to their only hope for a major upgrade is to sign Eric Winston. If the Cowboys keep dragging their feet on the right tackle issue they will be stuck with Free again in 2013 or they could allow Jeremy Parnell to takeover at right tackle. I like Parnell as a swing tackle and he fits in nicely as a role player but he isn’t in Winston’s class.
All the weapons and pieces the Cowboys added in the draft are nice but they won’t mean much if the Cowboys don’t upgrade the offensive line, and even though Travis Frederick helps, he isn’t enough. The biggest thing the Cowboys needed to do this off-season was to upgrade their offensive line and they still haven’t done that to the best of their ability.
What’s frustrating about the entire process is the options are right there in front of them and Dallas still hasn’t gotten it done. They have dragged their feet with Doug Free and it cost them a player they supposedly really like in Tyson Clabo and by continuing to allow Free the time to decide what he wants to do, they are risking their chance at Winston as well. What other organization do you know that would allow the player to call the shots?
This game of chicken has gone on long enough and the Cowboys need to pull the trigger on Doug Free; either cut him or force him to accept a pay cut so the Cowboys can bring in somone new. They haven’t done enough to upgrade their offensive line and by not doing so, they are risking another season of Tony Romo’s, and the Dallas Cowboys’, prime.
The opportunity to make the changes necessary are out there for the Cowboys and the longer they wait, the more opportunity they allow to slip through their hands. Dallas needs to decide on the DFS right now in order to be better in 2013. It’s the only way their off-season makes sense.