We're doing a series on the most important players on the Cowboys offense going into the 2017 season. Here's #5 --
#5 Whoever is going to replace Doug Free
Losing a vet like Doug Free (a tackle) to retirement would really hurt a lot of of teams offensive lines but Dallas is so strong there that even if they can’t find a replacement up to Free’s level, they still should be ok.
With that said, whoever replaces him will be the weak link of the line at least to start. Chaz Green might be the most obvious option off the bat. He was below average in his snaps last year, graded very poorly, according to Pro Football Focus, against San Francisco and Chicago last season. He’s still young and being surrounded by great players will help him and the line in general. The ‘Boys signed Byron Bell this offseason, but his ceiling is probably just being average.
Free’s best years were already behind him and he graded negatively over the course of the full season but the replacement could be even worse.
As noted, Free’s absence won’t create a catastrophe for the offensive line but they surely need to find someone who can be average at the very least.
Source: Pro Football Focus · Photo Credit: Keystone Press Agency