Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he has not given up on veteran tackle Doug Free, who actually might be a better player at left tackle than right tackle.
“Doug free’s biggest asset is his quick feet, and you can make a case, believe it or not, that he plays better left tackle than he does right tackle,” Jones said Tuesday morning during his weekly radio show on KRLD 105.3 FM “The Fan.” “But be that as it may, he should be an outstanding right tackle.”
Jones said the Cowboys thought of Free as one of the best five-to-10 tackles in the NFL a few years ago. He said Free is not injured, but that he needs to improve his technique. He echoed some of what coach Jason Garrett said a few weeks ago about Free needing to have more “bite” in his game.
“He’s got to have better punch, and I don’t mean that from the standpoint of wanting to punch so much as I do the technique to punch,” Jones said. “He’s got to do some things technique-wise that will help him a lot. There’s lots of ways to do that in the offensive line, and we see it done. ... Doug’s smart, and by no means have I given up on Doug Free.”
Last week against the Eagles, Free gave up 1.5 sacks and had a holding penalty called against him. He had another holding penalty nullified by a defensive penalty.
For the season, Free has 12 accepted penalties (four holding, eight false starts) and two declined (both holding).
“First of all, we put some pressure on our tackles,” Jones said. “We play-action – a lot of play action helps your tackles. Some of the hings we do in our passing game ask a lot of our tackles, and so you do take that into consideration.”
Jones said Free will keep working.
“I know that he’s got his eye on the ball, figuratively speaking, and he’s not going to quit,” Jones said. “We’ve got another player out there that’s really got a lot of upside that has played well when he had an opportunity. That’s Jermey Parnell. So we’re in pretty good shape at tackle.”
-- Carlos Mendez