Could Doug Free Be The Dallas Cowboys 2013 Offseason MVP?

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As a lifelong Dallas Cowboy fan, I find myself frequently comparing and contrasting America’s Team players to those of other professional sports.  Call it my unfailing homerism or even closed mindedness, but I can always talk myself into a reason why the Cowboys are better.  But, I think I have a legitimate winner as the NFL’s offseason MVP this time.  While watching the Miami Heat celebrate their NBA title in a most self indulged drunken with pride chest pounding way, it occurred to me that true humility is a rare trait amongst professional athletes.

Jun 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) celebrates at the 2013 NBA championship rally at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The odds of becoming a professional athlete, so I read, are less than winning the lottery.  The volume of self promotion and self focus it takes to win a position in the NFL is astounding.  Some of the best athletes in the world never make the rosters.  There are guys running 4.3 40’s who get cut; think about that for a second.  My point is the character quality of humbleness is rarely found in any professional sport today, and I think it’s the professional sports “machine” which drives that “me first” attitude.

The Merriam-Webster definition of humble is not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission.  I assert that only a few professional athletes are living examples of this definition.  I realize in the ultra competitive world of the NFL you have to have the “just throw me the damn ball” type players who are greedy for the sake of the team.

But I also think it takes a special type of person to play in the NFL and remain truly humble.  My nominee for the NFL 2013 Offseason MVP is Doug Free.  I can almost hear the guffaws and see the eye rolling from my little abode here in Dallas, but just give me a moment to lay out my case.

Have you ever been asked to take a pay cut?  How much was it?  Take a month or two off on “furlough” without pay?  Was it a reduction in your commissions or territory?  Whatever your personal experience, I think we can all agree it sucks!!!  You want me to work the same amount of hours, at the same job, making less money!?!?  Screw you man!  That would be mine and many others, if we were honest with ourselves, response.  Not Doug Free.

The Dallas Cowboys asked Mr. Free to take a $7 million reduction in salary.  Seven million U.S. dollars!!!  Doug did not play up to his contract last year, everyone knows that, but he acknowledged that too.  When’s the last time you openly admitted in a public way that you were wrong, and needed to improve yourself?  Ouch… 

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  • John

    Yes, Doug Free is humble. But he has plenty to be humble about. Let’s hope he can regain his old form…

    • Matt

      Agreed, John. Free needs to step it up this year!

      • JoeDaBeast

        I have NO DOUBT that Doug Free will improve this season. Besides the normal comment of “he can’t get much worse”, he did switch from Romo’s blind side to Right Tackle, which is like night and day on the Offensive Line. Travis Frederick’s nastiness will be infectious and hope to go back to the mauling style of running the rock.

        • Matt

          Good point on position switch, Joe!

  • billy

    i absolutely agree with the writer. im very proud of doug even though i wanted rid of him just a few weeks ago. i thought he was a dead beat and just wanted the money and to go home but i was wrong and it looks like he is going to make a good come back. i certainly hope so. what i dont understand is why de didnt do this last year. i know he didnt forget how to play his position from one year to the next. i dont think ive ever seen this happen before. i mean i know sometimes athletes have bad years i get that but he was awful last year. now it seems that hes coming back to his old self. i say hurray for him but huh?

    • Matt

      It is a bit of a head scratcher why his play fell off so much, I agree. I keep hearing his technique breaks down, and if so that’s a discipline thing and should be easy to fix, but Free is obviously unreliable in his technique. Here’s to hoping he bounces back this year because that line needs him!