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Dallas Cowboys RT Doug Free Announces Retirement

Kevin Brady

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Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: T #68 Doug Free

According to Todd Archer of ESPN, Dallas Cowboys starting right tackle Doug Free has decided to retire, and will not return for the 2017 season.

The ten year veteran became the Cowboys starting left tackle in 2010 before giving way to star tackle Tyron Smith in 2012. He has been the starting right tackle ever since. The retirement gives Dallas an extra $5 million in salary cap space in 2017.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys will have another hole to fill. Right tackle Doug Free has informed the team he intends to retire,… https://t.co/7zMI9vmnG3

Despite being the “weak link” on the Cowboys All-World offensive line, Free’s absence will still be evident. The Cowboys have already lost left guard Ronald Leary to the Denver Broncos, and now must deal with another loss to their best unit.

While La’el Collins is expected to fill in for Leary, it is not clear who will be the Cowboys next right tackle. Former third round pick Chaz Green was slotted to be the successor, but injuries in both of his NFL seasons have created questions around his availability.

Dallas may look to the NFL draft for a replacement, possibly to Western Michigan’s Taylor Moton in round two.

We have the next several months to speculate on replacements, however. For now, we wish Doug Free a happy and healthy retirement.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the ‘boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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3 Comments
  • Travis Diggs

    He basically did us a favor He must of seen the tape of this past year He’s been the weak link on the best Line in Football The next question is Who replaces him?? Leary went to Denver, Chaz Green can’t stay healthy, Did they sign Johnathan Cooper back??, Just another hole were gonna have to take care of in the draft We’ll be ok

  • Russ_Te

    Free at last! ;^)

    Yes it is a void to fill, but with the potential upside of getting better at RT in pass block. There is no doubt however than in run offense Free was a force.

    I still think the better move may be to move Collins over. He has the athleticism to play G or T, and so far we don’t know that he can take the pounding inside. If he excels at RT, you’d have bookends – worth the try.

    Then you have an easier proposition in filling LG. Remember that both Leary and Nate Newton, went undrafted out of college.

  • Russ_Te

    Free is probably being wise, unlike Romo. He’s made millions in the NFL and why tear up the body even more? It’s arguable a SB ring may not be worth the long-term health damage.

    Remember LT Mark Tuinei. Died of a heroin overdose. Which he had probably graduated to from other drugs, in order to deal with chronic pain from his playing years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Tuinei

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WR Brice Butler Ruled Out for Raiders Game, Won’t Face Former Team

Sean Martin

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Linehan: "Butler Has Had a Good Camp", But Will He Stay?

Still dealing with a foot injury that kept him out of last week’s win at the Giants, Dallas Cowboys WR Brice Butler will be out for his second straight game as he will miss the Cowboys’ prime time match up against his former Raiders squad.

Expected by some to have a breakout season in his third with the Cowboys, Butler has caught just 13 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns on this 2017 season – his last under contract with the team.

SportsDay Cowboys on Twitter

Just in: WR Brice Butler has been downgraded from questionable to out vs. Raiders. He will not be traveling with the team to Oakland.

Butler’s absence in Oakland will take one more offensive threat away from the Cowboys in their final game of this season without RB Ezekiel Elliott.

Rookie WR Noah Brown, who has already exceeded expectations as a seventh round pick, should expect to see more snaps with Brice Butler out tomorrow night.

Tell us what you think about “WR Brice Butler Ruled Out for Raiders Game, Won’t Face Former Team” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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WATCH: Jason Witten Talks Career With Cowboys At Players’ Tribune

Sean Martin

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WATCH: Jason Witten Talks Career With Cowboys At Players' Tribune

“Gold Jack Witt” carries a presence with him around the Dallas Cowboys, a 14 year veteran that has been a model of consistency on the field and a role model for so many off of it. Jason Witten spoke with the media and fans to the Players’ Tribune recently, discussing everything from his early career to plans for life after America’s Team.

The Players’ Tribune on Twitter

Vet tight end @JasonWitten joins @Citibank to reflect on his career with the @DallasCowboys as he prepares for the next stage of his life. For now, it’s all about pursuing the Lombardi Trophy. https://t.co/OKQk3KWT55

“It seemed like you had the USA, America, and then Texas” – Jason Witten on being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys back in 2003.

The 2012 winner of the Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award (which Cowboys C Travis Frederick is nominated for this season), Witten also discussed his ‘Jason Witten Collegiate Man Of The Year Award‘ – an honor that will be given out at the college level for the first time at the end of this season.

This Witten award will be granted to a player, “who has demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field”.

Also from Jason Witten’s own website, we learn that, “the award honors the type of exemplary character and commitment to community, family and teammates demonstrated by Jason Witten”.

As you hear at the end of the video, Witten’s current focus remains clear-cut. Bringing an elusive sixth championship to Dallas is still a goal he is chasing strong, as the Cowboys are fighting for their playoff lives following a 13-3 season a year ago.

If in need of a lesson on how to handle adversity and always look forward, the Cowboys won’t have to look much further than their tight end #82 though.

Tell us what you think about “WATCH: Jason Witten Talks Career With Cowboys At Players’ Tribune” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

The Cowboys have just one more game to get through without their star running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Alfred Morris and Rod Smith deserve a ton of credit for the way they’ve been able to fill in out of the backfield for Zeke Elliott. Throughout the time Elliott has missed though, the Cowboys have lacked the explosive plays on offense that he can provide – until Rod Smith was given an opportunity last week at the Giants.

Smith complimented Morris exceptionally well, running with quickness and power to prove his case for more of a role on offense behind Elliott moving forward. It was the Ohio State product’s consecutive touchdowns of 81 yards through the air and 15 yards on the ground that sealed the game for the Cowboys in week 14.

Here is a closer look at Rod Smith’s performance from last week in this latest Sean’s Scout.

Smith3 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

The Cowboys offensive line was dominant as always against a tough New York defensive front, and this first play is a great look at their execution in space and on the move. Rod Smith’s decisiveness when hitting the hole with speed and balance was the first thing I noticed on the game tape.

The best thing Smith does on this play comes at the second level, where running backs can truly make a difference in Dallas. As RG Zack Martin rides his man out of the play entirely, he gets in front of Smith who is seeing the play develop straight ahead. With his long strides, Smith is able to smoothly get through traffic and continue accelerating up field through arm tackles for a big gain.

Smith2 – Streamable

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These same traits are seen with Rod Smith as a pass catcher – something he does effortlessly to also help fill the void left by Elliott. Watch how quickly Smith commits to his angle up the field after catching this dump pass from Dak Prescott, attacking a defender that has the angle on him after the catch.

Rod subtly leans to the right just enough to make the defender hesitate long enough to allow his burst to evade him and gain extra yards falling forward.

Smith4 – Streamable

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Smith essentially does the same thing without the ball in his hands here, on his 81 yard catch and run for a touchdown. Setting up the safety out of the slot to be beat across his face, Smith separates from him at the stem and then does a great job getting depth on his route into the vacated middle of the field. With blockers to help him reach the end zone, Smith turns this busted coverage by the Giants into the game’s biggest play.

Smith1 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

This last play I chose to show is probably the least well-blocked attempt for Smith out of the ones in this Sean’s Scout, but there is still a lot to like about what Rod does here with the ball in his hands.

The Giants might be a two-win football team, but they still have marquee players up front, particularly DE Olivier Vernon. Smith does well here to keep his feet moving as he cuts this play to the backside. Vernon does well to limit the potential gain on this play by staying away from the block of Jason Witten, as Smith is taken down by Darian Thompson.

The numbers the Giants had to commit to stopping the run was still a huge reason why Prescott had a career day throwing the football, and Rod Smith’s readiness to step in at RB was a deciding factor in getting Dallas to 7-6.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Proving to be one of the Dallas Cowboys most valuable players, considering his cost (under contract through 2018), and ability to contribute on special teams and offense, Rod Smith is the perfect RB3 for this team.

Smith is not elite in any one area, and is not a prototypical RB from a physical standpoint, but his contributions as a runner, pass catcher, and blocker could remain critical to the Cowboys’ hopes of reaching the playoffs behind this offense – even when Ezekiel Elliott is back in the fold.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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