Doug Free is one of the more prominent Dallas Cowboys who could walk away in free agency during the 2015 NFL Free Agency period. He’s been a top performer at offensive tackle for a number of seasons and would provide a strong, veteran presence on the offensive line. With both Jermey Parnell and Doug Free set to hit free agency, the Cowboys will have to choose whether to stick with the older, more proven Free or let him walk in favor of the younger right tackle who stepped in last season and performed very well.
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I’d love to see them let Free walk into the open arms of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Free comes in as Pro Football Focus’s eighth best right tackle overall for 2014 and the fourth best run blocking right tackle. The Jags could really use someone who can set the tone in the trenches for the running game, allowing the team to provide a more balanced offense for second year quarterback Blake Bortles.
Free would also provide a steady presence for a team that desperately needs it. The revolving door that was right tackle last season was terrible for offensive efficiency all season long and particularly during the early part of 2014. If the Jags want to see improvement overall, they need an offensive line that can play in concert and act as one, consistent unit through the season. With extensive experience and a track record of playing full seasons (his injury last year was the first time in five seasons he hasn’t been in all 16 games), Free is as dependable a right tackle as you can get right now.
Concerns here may be that Free won’t be able to come back and be as dependable as he once was, especially now at his “advanced age” of 31 years. Personally, however, I think he would be worth a gamble. As one of the top tackles available (though certainly not, the top), free could be an easy piece to acquire this offseason, especially if the Jags simply need to throw a little extra money in to outbid competitors.
The biggest hurdle I see to the Jags acquiring Doug Free (assuming that they want him) is the Dallas Cowboys. America’s Team may want him back and it would be tough for a right tackle still playing well to leave his team just when they are hitting their window of competing for a Super Bowl. If the Cowboys want him back, I expect he would stick around.