Doug Free's experience helps in move to guard

IRVING, Texas – Doug Free was not in a talkative mood on Monday – he said he had not watched the tape of Saturday’s game vs. Cincinnati – but coach Jason Garrett liked what the tackle-turned-guard showed against the Bengals.

At Monday’s practice, Free continued to work at right guard with Jermey Parnell at right tackle. With Mackenzy Bernadeau out with a sprained ankle, David Arkin worked at left guard.

Until the Cowboys know Ronald Leary (or Nate Livings) will be able to play Sept. 8 against the New York Giants, Free will continue to work on the interior.

“I think with the situation that we're in on the offensive line you're just looking for the best five guys and maybe more importantly, the best combination of guys,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We did that for a reason and we're looking for those combinations and I thought that was valuable work in the game. Those guys played into the third quarter and got a lot of snaps in the game. I think we had 82 in the game and they had close to 60 and that's a positive thing for your team, particularly veteran guys who are smart enough to learn from those experiences. We'll see who we get back and we’ll see who’s healthy and make our best decisions.”

Garrett said Free improved as the game went on, as did the entire first-team line.

“That’s really just a function of playing next to each other and having a little bit of experience,” Garrett said. “Doug is a smart guy. You see him improving based on the experience that he’s had. Even within the game, it was impressive that way.”