As we continue to look at the grading of the 2013 Dallas Cowboys, this week takes on to the Offensive Line. Now, normally in this series I have begun with the best. I could do that again this week by starting with Tyron Smith. I am not going to do that this time. I feel it is more important for me in this particular article to start by eating some crow.
The source of this unsavory dish is Right Tackle Doug Free. In 2012 he was flat out awful. No punches pulled, no sugar coating, awful. I wanted nothing more than to see his name on the waiver wire. I counted down the days to June 1 when his being waived would save the most on the Cap. I scanned the Unrestricted Free Agent roster and the Draft picks and I dreamed of anything but #68 at RT.
And that was when he agreed to take a pay cut to stay in Dallas and we kept him. I won’t lie, I was not happy about it. He shut me up. Here’s your crow Mike. I hope you like it cold and raw. He wasn’t the same Doug Free who earned his chance to start when Colombo went down and he was blowing people up 20 yards or more past the line of scrimmage. But he also wasn’t the same Doug Free who reminded me of a matador who waved his cape and let the bull come right on by so he could knock Tony Romo into oblivion.
I’m not going to give Free the highest grade on the Offensive Line, but I am going to start with him and eat some crow. I was wrong. Now as to his grade, I have to say I am happy with his play overall in 2013. There were some rough times, but that is true of every Offensive Lineman not named Anthony Munoz. I am going to give Doug Free a B for 2013. That is 4 grades higher than what I gave him for 2012, and 3 grades higher than I believed he was capable of.