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Doug Free has to be gone for the Cowboys to move forward, or right

6a00e54f7fc4c58833017c321a68ee970b-300wiIRVING, Texas - Jerry Jones 'n' friends addressed the media today as part of a mandated pre-NFL draft press conference that was much shorter than these meetings in the past.

Most of the questions anchored around the draft, but one did touch on a specific player - right tackle Doug Free.

"We haven't said where we are and he hasn't said where he is as we go into this draft," Jerry Jones said Monday. "That's by design. We want to see how what we do in the draft. We talked about it as late as this morning. If we draft a tackle how does that impact a player like Doug. And I'm sure he's looking it at there as well."

Fans of the Dallas Cowboys know that Free's best days are gone; those good days were short lived. He embodies the guy paid on potential, based on a limited number of productive NFL games.

Of the many large contracts this team has handed out in recent years (Roy Williams I, Roy Williams II, etc.) there may not be any more glaring example of spending gone stupid than Doug Free. He signed a four-year, $32 million deal two years ago. The Cowboys signed him to be a left tackle, then moved him to the right one season after Tyron Smith's rookie year.

Even on the right Free couldn't play.

What is left is a guy who cashed a huge check and has since then been an over-powered starting NFL tackle. He is best suited as a backup, swing tackle. If he is starting for your team, your team isn't very good. And this idea that he can play guard is unrealistic; guard is a power position and Free's biggest problem is that he routinely pushed backwards. 

The sad part is that Free is not dogging it. This is not a lack of effort. He is a pro. He is simply not a high caliber pro.

The Cowboys have asked Free to take a pay cut, and right now both sides are being quiet. Free is due $7 million this season, while his cap hit is an incredible $10 million. That's a big hit to make a guy go away.

No way is he going to take a pay cut. The two sides may part ways before the draft starts Thursday.

By Saturday evening both the Cowboys and Free will know if they think have his replacement on the roster. The Cowboys have to find someone better than Doug Free.


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What happened? For a guy to show so much promse and then to have him fizzle like he did it's really disapointing.

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