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.
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.