In what should be a relaxing time before the Dallas Cowboys take the field in training camp, perhaps some fans might be on edge about the team? They might be wondering what the Cowboys are going to do at right tackle, and rightly so. Despite how well the Cowboys have operated without much spending money this offseason, the biggest question mark is still right tackle.
We all saw the saga play out with Doug Free, who still remains a Dallas Cowboy, and Jeremy Parnell is expected to battle for the starting right tackle position. However, those two weren’t good enough last year and despite some success in rotating the two during games, that is no way to move forward at right tackle. Again, the question must be asked, do the Dallas Cowboys still need a right tackle?
The answer is yes and the Cowboys agree. Why else would they flirt with Tyson Clabo when he was released by the Atlanta Falcons or ask the agents for Eric Winston what his asking price would be? The simple truth is the Cowboys can’t feel confident in what they have at right tackle based on the results from the 2012 season.
Of course Doug Free can improve in 2013, because he can’t get much worse, and having another year under Bill Callahan will help but he has regressed two years in a row after a stellar 2010 season. At this point the Cowboys are hoping for improvement and since when is “hoping” a good thing going into a new season?
Jeremy Parnell could step up and become a starter but there hasn’t been much talk about his progression this offseason so it’s difficult to tell just how much the Cowboys trust him in playing a full-time roll. I believe he’s a better option than Free but if that was the case, why did the Cowboys find it necessary to make sure Free restructured his contract instead of just releasing him?
While the questions and uncertainty still remain over the right tackle position for the Cowboys, the good news is that Eric Winston is still available and likely will be until training camps start. If the Cowboys don’t like what they see from their right tackles early on in camp, they can begin talks with Winston again. However, based on the Cowboys lack of real interest in Winston for the past few months they might not have any interest in signing him.
So here we sit with under a month to go before training camp opens and the right tackle position is still unsettled. It looks like the biggest misstep for the Cowboys this offseason and hopefully it doesn’t come back to haunt them.