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  1. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/cowboys-starting-right-tackle-reportedly-decides-to-retire-after-10-seasons/ Cowboys starting right tackle reportedly decides to retire after 10 seasons Doug Free has decided to hang up his cleats The Cowboys might need to call an audible on their plans for free agency, because all of the sudden, they have a gaping hole on their offensive line that they’re going to need to fill. According to ESPN.com, starting right tackle Doug Free has decided to retire. The 10-year veteran had been a mainstay on the Cowboys’ offensive line since becoming a full-time starter in 2010. In the seven seasons since then, Free started in 107 of the 112 regular season games that the Cowboys played over that span. Although Free was widely viewed as the weak link on the Cowboys’ offensive line over the past few years -- Pro Football Focus gave him the lowest grade of any Cowboys linemen in 2016 -- that was more a product of how good the line was than how poorly Free was playing. Replacing a long-time starter is never easy, and it definitely won’t be in this situation, especially because the Cowboys weren’t even aware of Free’s possible retirement going into March. When asked about Free on March 1, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he was unaware of any retirement rumors. “I do not know of any talk of retirement in regard to Doug Free,” Garrett said, via the team’s official website. On the same day, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones even added that the team had already penned Free in as the starting right tackle in 2017. “Our projection is Doug is going to come back, and he’s our starting right tackle,” Jones said, via Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Obviously if we don’t get [Ronald] Leary re-signed, which will be difficult, then we see La’el [Collins] as our starting guard.” The problem for the Cowboys is that not only did they lose Leary (to the Broncos), but they might not be able to use La’el Collins to guard. Due to Free’s retirement, the Cowboys might need to move Collins to right tackle, which would then leave a hole at left guard. Collins played tackle in college at LSU, so that move could make sense. The Cowboys also have 2015 third-round pick Chaz Green, but he’s only played in a total of four games over the past two seasons due to various injuries. To fill their open spot on the line, the Cowboys might have to use a draft pick or break out the checkbook for someone in free agency. The good news for the Cowboys is that Free’s retirement will save them $5 million against the salary cap. Free ended up being a bargain for the Cowboys. After being selected in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, the lineman went on to play in a total of 124 games (with 114 starts) over 10 seasons.
  2. On Dukes and Bell last night, Brian Billick said that he felt Devonte Freeman is the best all round running back in the NFL right now and needs to be a 350 touch guy (includes receptions and carries). That's one heII of an endorsement. We drafted arguably the best if not one of the best all around Pro Bowl RBs in the NFL with a 4th rounder? Troffed! I've been saying all offseason how excited I am that Ryan finally has the type of RB that can do it all, much as Brady, Brees, Manning and Rodgers have had most of their careers. Turner was the best RB Ryan ever had but he was a one trick pony with no long speed and not an accomplished receiver or blocker. This is the most important part. Last year Ryan had only 3 dependable pass catchers in Julio, Tamme and Freeman. Now that we have other necessary pieces such as a #2 WR in Sanu, a seasoned veteran Hardy coming back as #3 looking much improved and a rookie receiving TE who can help us in the red zone, and Mack at center, this offense is going to be dominant and will be able to match up against any defense. We can attack in so many different ways it won't be like last year where we lose Hankerson and simply couldn't match up against good defenses. http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2016/08/03/brian-billick-devonta-freeman-needs-to-be-a-350-touch-guy/
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