Leading up to training camp 2010, Blue-Star takes an in-depth look at the Dallas Cowboys' tackles.
The Good: LT Flozell Adams, the longest-tenured Cowboy as of 2009, is gone, but the outlook for the position is still fairly sunny. Doug Free impressed just about everyone last season when he replaced RT Marc Colombo--and his talents (amazingly quick feet, good hands) lend themselves more to the left, where he'll be lining up this season.
Colombo entered the league as a mauler with above average strength and good size, but he has polished his style over the years. That said, he had something of a down-year in 2009, between the injury that preempted Free's promotion and a Minnesota game that was just plain hard to watch.
This off-season Dallas added some depth in the form of veteran left tackle Alex Barron in a trade with St. Louis, and Notre Dame's Sam Young in the draft. Additionally, '08 pick Robert Brewster will return to the team after missing his entire rookie year with injury. This is a generally solid group.
The Bad: Remember Minnesota?
We do, and it's kind of scary that those were the starting tackles that will be on the field for Dallas in 2010. Of course, that was something of an aberration--by far the worst game of the year for the group, but, you know, it left a bit of a bad taste in our mouths. None of the offensive line played well in that game--Free wasn't all that bad on the left--but I recall Colombo standing out as the worst of the bunch.
Adams was slowing down, though the move to get rid of him was largely motivated by money.
The (Near) Future: Dallas looks good for now, with an able group veterans complimenting the talented first-time starter Free. Barron will provide Dallas another look, and Free some competition in camp, but it's nearly impossible to imagine Free not starting. That said, depth is good. Barron can play both tackle positions.
Get the latest Dallas Cowboys news direct to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe to this free service. Read more about it here.