Friday, February 25, 2011
Offensive line not up to standards
By Calvin Watkins
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cowboys had some problems along the offensive line last year. Guard Kyle Kosier and tackle Marc Colombo each missed games due to injury.
Colombo missed the season opener as he recovered from minor knee surgery and Kosier did the same, but he missed two more games with an ankle injury. Colombo had his struggles with his play and Kosier did perform well.
The play of right guard Leonard Davis was called into question. He was benched in the Week 4 loss to Tennesee, but he did return later in that game when Montrae Holland suffered an eye injury.
Andre Gurode did get selected to the Pro Bowl, his fifth, but it appeared he didn't have his best season.
Then we get to Doug Free, who moved from the right tackle spot to the left side and performed well. Not well enough to get named to a Pro Bowl, but his efforts gave the Cowboys hope he has a future at the position.
Drafting a tackle or guard is a possibility this spring and Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi said he was the No. 1 tackle in the draft.
Age, four of the five linemen will be in their 30s, injuries and how they play could determine where and who the Cowboys draft.
"Like throughout our football team it wasn't up to standard," Jason Garrett said of the offensive line. "We were a 6-10 football team and we have to improve in all areas and the way you do that is you evaluate the personnel, you evaluate the scheme and then you try to implement some of those changes when we get back together again."
Free and Kosier are free agents and both would like to return.
It seems the Cowboys would place a franchise tag on Free, but Stephen Jones said it was doubtful if the organization would do it. The Cowboys could go for a younger talent at left guard over Kosier. But what do you do about the other positions? It's hard to replace four offensive linemen, so expect at least two changes to the line in 2011.