Dallas Cowboys Need To Stop Right Tackle Rotation

By Ben Grimaldi
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a few days since the Dallas Cowboys got a big road win to keep their playoff hopes alive, so it’s time to get back to business. Yes, the Cowboys showed a ton of heart and toughness in the victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, but it certainly didn’t come without flaws.

Dallas’ offensive line is still a mess. According to Pro Football Focus, each player gave up at least one pressure on Tony Romo and a few linemen gave up significantly more. The Cowboys quarterback was under siege almost the entire game and there is no way they can win if they get offensive line play like they did against the Bengals.

One of the main problems on the Dallas offensive line is the play of right tackle Doug Free. I’m not breaking any news with that information. Free got so bad last week the Cowboys decided to replace him with swing tackle Jeremy Parnell.

Then came the unthinkable: Jason Garrett and the Cowboys offensive coaches decided to rotate Free and Parnell at right tackle.

All I can say to this idea is wow, what a dumb idea! There is an old saying in football that if you have two quarterbacks, then you really have none. Well that applies to offensive linemen too. If Doug Free is so bad that you have to replace him, why would there be a need to send him back into the game?

This experiment must end now. We’ve seen what Free has done this year and we all know it isn’t very good. Meanwhile, the Cowboys love the potential of Parnell and he graded out well in the game against the Washington Redskins, so why not play him as the full-time right tackle? It’s obvious that Free can’t get the job done and it’s time to move on.

Apparently Garrett doesn’t see it that way.

“Similarly, we thought Doug responded well (to Sunday’s rotation),” Garrett said. “Doug … played one of his better games in recent games. I think both guys responded well.”

I’m sorry but I don’t buy it and neither should you. How many other teams do you know who rotate their tackles? Don’t bother, I’ll give you the answer. Zero. The reason no one does it is because the position is too important to mess with. Yet here are the Cowboys rotating right tackles. It’s ludicrous and it should not continue.

The Cowboys should let Parnell play at right tackle in order to evaluate him for the future. If Dallas needs to spend draft picks on their offensive line next April, and we all know they do, they better know exactly where they need to upgrade.

The Cowboys are fighting for their playoff lives in the next three weeks, so it would be nice for Tony Romo to know who he’s fighting with.

you can chat with or contact Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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