Andre Gurode understands well the business side of football.
The Dallas Cowboys' Pro Bowl center played alongside left tackle Flozell Adams for nine seasons before, last month, the All-Pro Adams was abruptly released. Gurode, speaking to the Dallas Morning News, said recently that he remains friends with Adams, who is currently a free agent.
"You realize it's the business," Gurode said, "but the other thing is just because the guy is not here doesn't mean you don't carry that friendship on. Calls may drop off but you still reach out and ask how he's doing and make sure he's doing well. I've been in contact with Flo a couple of times. It's definitely different, but you know the friendship you built with this person will be there."
This ability to move forward, to accept this bottom-line, business aspect of the game is about as necessary to an NFL player as tackling ability, or lateral speed, and, in that regard, Gurode passes with flying colors. Despite his friendship with Adams, Gurode had high praise for his replacement, Doug Free.
"I think Doug will do just fine," Gurode said. "I've been around Doug his whole career and when he first came in he was a high-motor guy, real nervous, but you could see so much potential. To see him go on the field last year and do some of the things he did, it didn't shock me. Before he got on the field to play, the guys told him, 'It's going to be like this. Calm down, you've done this before. Relax and you'll be fine.' He went out there and did his thing.
"He just waited for his opportunity and he did the best with it when it came."
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