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.

20 responses to “Cowboys considering offensive line shuffle

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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