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Cowboys considering offensive line shuffle

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The arrival of Bill Callahan in Dallas has the team mulling some changes to the offensive line.

Callahan has praised rookie tackle Tyron Smith since being hired as the team’s new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Head coach Jason Garrett admitted that the team is thinking about moving Smith from right tackle to left tackle next season. That would mean Doug Free would switch back to right tackle, one year after signing a four-year, $32 million contract extension.

Although that’s the kind of contract one usually gives to a left tackle, the Cowboys can’t let the money get in the way of what’s best for the team. Free had an awful season as a pass blocker in 2011 and moving him back to the right side could allow the team to make better use of his run blocking skills while limiting the damage he can do in the passing game.

“We’re trying to make the best fit for our football team and for each of those guys so they can play their best,” Garrett said, via the Dallas Morning News. “If we were to do that, we’d try to do it earlier rather than later just to give them enough opportunity to do it and get better at it.”

Smith had the best season of any member of a bad Cowboys line in 2011 and he’s certainly athletic enough to play on the left side. Wherever the Cowboys choose to put their tackles, they need to upgrade the play on the interior of the line to get better results in 2012.

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20 Responses to “Cowboys considering offensive line shuffle”
  1. calwilliams06 says: Jan 20, 2012 12:54 PM

    Moving Smith to left tackle is an absolute no-brainer.

  2. bobhk says: Jan 20, 2012 12:57 PM

    One year ago people were singing praises of Free. Now he’s exposed. He’s a terrible tackle. It will show even at RT.

  3. tbpdog says: Jan 20, 2012 1:05 PM

    he played well @ RT in 2009, played well in 2010, so I think he will be fine at RT after a down year. He wasn’t even that bad this year, just too many penalties. The problem on the Dallas OL is at both guard and center spots. If Dallas doesen’t fix that, this is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  4. bigd4defense says: Jan 20, 2012 1:13 PM

    This isn’t news. Had there been off-season OTA’s and a full training camp it’s very possible this move would have been made this past year. Free’s a natural RT. Cowboys need to solidify their two guard positions and the O-line will be squared away for years.

  5. dirtydrynn27 says: Jan 20, 2012 1:23 PM

    Even if they do fix the O-Line that secondary stands out like a turd in a punch bowl! If they stick with Micheal Jenkins and Terrence Newman the will finish dead last in the NFC east!

  6. scutzi128 says: Jan 20, 2012 1:36 PM

    They should probably focus on fixing their revolving door of a defense. I think that was far more a cause of their disappointing season then their offense.

  7. bunjy96 says: Jan 20, 2012 1:38 PM

    Maybe some of those teams that were so hot after Free and then didn’t sign him, lucked out.

    He’s never been a a pass blocker.

    Never thought of him as a LT

  8. trentofgilead says: Jan 20, 2012 1:52 PM

    It’s probably already been done. It makes sense considering Free had his best games while playing RT, and Smith’s athletic ability make him a perfect fit at LT.

    Now, fix that pass rush. Ratliff and Ware can’t do it all, and Spencer hasn’t proven he deserves a big contract. How he plays opposite of Ware and manages only 6 sacks is beyond me.

  9. brintfatre says: Jan 20, 2012 1:53 PM

    Why would you care about the offensive line unless you plan to get a QB???

  10. fastspecv says: Jan 20, 2012 2:15 PM

    Good move to do. Switch up the tackles to hopefully strengthen up the O line so you have to less positions to worry about filling via the draft of free agency and have more money to put towards our other glaring issues

  11. thefiesty1 says: Jan 20, 2012 2:21 PM

    Shuffling the cards that the CowBabies have won’t change the result. They have to get a new deck of cards.

  12. oldbyrd says: Jan 20, 2012 2:23 PM

    FLOPO SET HIM FREE….MOVE ON BEFORE NEXT SEASON

  13. dalfanforever says: Jan 20, 2012 2:41 PM

    brintfatre says:
    Jan 20, 2012 1:53 PM
    Why would you care about the offensive line unless you plan to get a QB???
    —-
    Apparantly you’ve never watched or played football, so I’ll break it down for you.

    Keeping whatever QB on his feet is paramount. That way he doesn’t get his ribs broken and suffer a punctured lung. There’s also this matter of the running game. Without a line that’s capable of attacking the D line and opening a hole, means there is no running game and everyone on the offense struggles to do their job.

    But you’re a football fan and should know that.

  14. dalfanforever says: Jan 20, 2012 2:44 PM

    bobhk says:
    Jan 20, 2012 12:57 PM
    One year ago people were singing praises of Free. Now he’s exposed. He’s a terrible tackle. It will show even at RT.
    —-
    Free’s MUCH better as a RT. He’s athletic and can run block better than pass block. It’s easier to run block than to pass block because you’re attacking, not waiting for contact.

  15. godofwine330 says: Jan 20, 2012 2:58 PM

    I don’t understand why people don’t see the value of right tackles and not just left tackles. The Browns have a great LT in Joe Thomas, but “Turnstile” Tony Pashos was one of the reasons the team had horrible pass protection this year. RT are valuable, too. And you don’t realize that until you don’t have one, and then it is too late.

  16. geniusesq says: Jan 20, 2012 3:24 PM

    How about an ownership shuffle?

  17. yevrag3535 says: Jan 20, 2012 3:41 PM

    They will still suck.

  18. fissels says: Jan 20, 2012 3:50 PM

    Is that like the Curley shuffle?

  19. elmoron says: Jan 20, 2012 4:34 PM

    Nagy seemed to be playing pretty good, especially for a late 7th, before he was injured.

  20. tonyromoisterrible says: Jan 20, 2012 4:48 PM

    The cowgirls will never be good while Jerrah is shopping the groceries.

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