Old School 101: Nate Newton on OL

What better way to end the Old School Series 101 than by talking to former Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton?

Newton, who does a daily show on 103.3 FM, played for the Cowboys from 1986-98. He was a six-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All Pro.

Newton made 180 starts in his NFL career overall. In five of his last six years with the Cowboys, he started every game at left guard.

Here's our chat with Newton about the Cowboys offensive line:

Q: Doug Free is somebody the Cowboys need to keep, right?

A: They should have placed the franchise tag on him before the lockout. You might have saved yourself some money now if you signed him to a $10 million deal. Now he's about to get on the open market and every NFL team gets to talk with him. He's not a superstar, but every team wants a consistent left tackle and that's what he was last year and he's only getting better.

Q: Say the Cowboys lose Free in free agency. Can Tyron Smith, the first-round pick, play left tackle?

A: You can do it. A lot of teams have done that by using rookie left tackles in the past. Look at what Washington did with Trent Williams. If you do it, Sam Young is your right tackle and Marc Colombo is the swing tackle. I don't know about that. Not to say they will fail, but Free is solid at left tackle. You need to sign Doug Free.

Q: What about Kyle Kosier?

A:You can sign Kosier for a little less than what it would take to keep Free. Kosier is the glue, he helps [Andre] Gurode in certain situations and you would hope he would be more of a team guy to take a smaller deal. Free doesn't have to be a team player, he's in his prime and he wants to get a good salary.

Q: Was the offensive line bad last year?

A: If they sign Free, and I'm very confident they will, then you got Smith at right tackle, Sam Young, the swing tackle, now just fix right guard and make sure he's mentally ready. I never thought Leonard [Davis] couldn't play, he just has to stay mentally ready in the game.