Cowboys believe Free can nail down left tackle job

One of the real keys for teams that develop the best offensive lines in the league is to find some gems in the later rounds of the draft.

The Dallas Cowboys are counting on doing just that at left tackle this coming season. Doug Free, a former fourth-round draft pick from Northern Illinois in 2007, is set to man the position that Flozell Adams played for more than a decade.

Free spent his time learning in his first two seasons and then gained some tangible experience this past year when he made seven starts at right tackle for Marc Colombo when the veteran was out injured. Some speculated the Cowboys would be busy in free agency importing linemen, or that they would seek one high in the draft. That never happened, and Dallas may also consider Robert Brewster, a third-round pick from Ball State a year ago, to be a future pillar at right tackle.

According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, Free has taken all of the developments in stride. He’s ready for his role.

"It's not too big for him," offensive line coach Hudson Houck told Moore. "It's not overwhelming for him. I think he has enough confidence just to say, 'I'm going to do my job.' "

Some questioned whether or not Free had the athleticism to make the move. The Cowboys believe he does and if it pans out the selection will prove to be a bright one. And it’s how talented lines are built. You can’t count on putting together nothing but high picks on the line. It just doesn’t work that way, and it’s cost prohibitive to purchase a line in free agency. The linemen that are on the market are usually there for a reason.

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