ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 21: Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones looks on during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on August 21, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
On Thursday, Jerry Jones dusted off his former All-SWC offensive lineman hat to discuss the Cowboys' big uglies.
Namely, the injury to Marc Colombo vis a vis the first career start for Doug Free, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2007; interestingly enough, Jones expressed some concern over the depth of the offensive line during the preseason. Until now, he hasn't had to broach the topic again, with Dallas, as of last Sunday, being one of six teams to start the same five lineman in each game through the first nine weeks of the year.
With Colombo suffering a broken fibula in the first quarter of Sunday's 17-7 loss, that streak is over.
"I'm not happy, because it was necessitated by an injury to Colombo," Jones said Thursday, of the line situation. "I feel good that we've had an opportunity to have an offensive line that didn't require us to see how Free would play in games which, at the end of the day, is the only way you really have a feel for how he's going to play. There's a little of me that knows he's been at left tackle and he's going over to right tackle and because of his unique quick feet, good feet, he may be a better left tackle than he is a right tackle. But this is what you have to do with offensive lines, and that is, give you some flexibility there."
In discussing Free, Jones expressed some well-founded faith in Hudson Houck, the Cowboys' offensive line coach, who very well may be the best in the business; in 25 years as an NFL assistant, most of which as the leader of the o-line, Houck has seen over 20 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
With his guidance, Jones believes, Free should have no trouble.
"Anxious is not the word for it," Jones said. "I think he came in and gave a good accounting [Sunday], and I have a lot of confidence he will go out there and play well.
"I'm not losing sleep over Free at tackle--at right tackle."