The Dallas Cowboys’ league-best offensive line took a hit on Saturday when starting right tackle Doug Free reportedly informed the team that he intends on retiring.
“The Cowboys will have another hole to fill. Right tackle Doug Free has informed the team he intends to retire, according to sources,” Todd Archer of ESPN reported on Saturday.
Free, 33, started 114 games during his 10-year career with the Cowboys. He’s played right tackle over the past five seasons after the team added eventual All Pro Tyron Smith at left tackle back in 2011.
This move comes with the free-agent market at offensive tackle dwindling big time. The likes of Mike Remmers, Rick Wagner and Menelik Watson have already inked lucrative deals with new teams. They likely would have been targets for the Cowboys at right tackle if Free had informed the team he was retiring prior to the start of free agency.
Having already lost Ronald Leary to the Denver Broncos in free agency, La’el Collins will be tasked with playing inside this upcoming season. This leaves youngster Chaz Green as the likeliest internal option to replace Free at right tackle.
Though, we can now expect Dallas to hit the free-agent market or the draft for a potential replacement here in the not-so-distant future.
Free’s retirement saves the team $7.5 million in cap room for the upcoming season.