Jerry: 'We've got a player in Doug Free'


IRVING, Texas -- Right tackle Marc Colombo might be able to return for the playoffs. The Dallas Cowboys haven't missed him nearly as much as anticipated while he recovers from a broken fibula and ankle surgery.

That's no knock on Colombo. It's a compliment to his replacement, Doug Free.

The 6-6, 313-pound Free, a fourth-round pick in 2007, appears to have ended the Cowboys' drought of drafting a starting-quality offensive lineman.

The Cowboys haven't had to give Free an inordinate amount of help. He's not as powerful as Colombo, but he has good quickness for his size and does a solid job of sticking on blocks.

"Free is a great example of young players and how they progress when they get to play," owner/general manager Jerry Jones said on KRLD-FM. "There’s just no other way around it. You’ve got to get in games and let them play games and they get better right before your eyes.

"I’m glad, for not only where we are but for the future, that Doug has had this opportunity. As we look to our decisions in the offensive line, we know we’ve got a player in Doug Free."