I would like for one week to go by where I don’t have to address things for a Dallas Cowboys team that is firmly entrenched in the offseason. Unfortunately, as we eluded to last night on “Faces for Radio”, events are swirling around Cowboys players both past and present. First, to recap last night’s discussion, Ezekial Elliott needs to have some rules and boundaries placed on him in order to avoid throwing away a promising career as yet another incident has arisen. Now the first incident, there is some discrepancy as to whether it happened at all or whether it was manufactured by the woman in question, but this one was caught on camera. If he continues down this path, it will not end well.
The second topic we touched on last night was that of the retirement of DeMarcus Ware. Ware was a long-time Cowboy before he left and won a ring with the Denver Broncos. His career accomplishments are second to none and he will go down as both a Hall of Fame player and one of the all-time great Cowboys players.
What we didn’t touch on last night, and something that may have the biggest impact of all is the retirement of Cowboys right tackle Doug Free. Free was a veteran presence on the Cowboys offensive line and was the unquestioned leader of a group that contained three perennial pro-bowlers (and could probably have had more with Ron Leary putting up a dominant performance as well. The fact that he announced his retirement a few days after the free agency period started is a little unsettling. There is no way to tell what the Cowboys front office knew and when. Did Free give any inclination to Jerry and company before the start of free agency? Was this as much a surprise to them as it was to the rest of us? The reason that I would like to know is that the Cowboys let their fourth best lineman, the aforementioned Ron Leary walk and sign with the Denver Broncos just a few days ago. While I realize that the Cowboys have Leary’s replacement on the roster already in La’el Collins, you’re telling me that they would not have preferred to find a way to keep Leary on the roster, slide Collins over to tackle and retain the best line in the league. I realize that finances would not have made this an easy deal to get done, and there’s a chance you would not have been able to sign him to a long-term deal anyway given the way he was jerked around the last couple years. However, that’s where you franchise him, try to get a deal done and at least take a bit of the guesswork out of the next year when it comes to your line.
It’s just a shitty situation for Dallas to be in, especially coming off such a promising season last year. The fact that they have to replace so many players that left via free agency this year (and a lot of quality depth at that) means that adding another important position to the pile, like starting right tackle will just serve to spread their resources thinner than they already are. Oh well, at least it’s constant fodder for people like me to write about every…single…week.