Matchup to Watch: Dallas Cowboys RT Doug Free vs. St. Louis Rams DE Chris Long
One of the matchups that I think is being overlooked is the one between Cowboys right tackle Doug Free and Rams defensive end Chris Long.
Free, as we’ve all seen, has been, for a lack of better words, consistently inconsistent. In fact, there were times during the 2012 season where he may have been the most inconsistent player on the Cowboys roster. If he wasn’t giving up a sack, Free was killing drives with his mental mistakes as evident by his league-high penalties committed. Needless to say, 2012 was a very bad year for Free, who ultimately ended up taking a considerable pay cut during the offseason to remain with the team.
Through two games in 2013, however, Free seems to be back to the form that earned him his high-paying contract following the 2010 season. In fact, Free is the Cowboys highest graded offensive player with a (5.8) overall grade and has been, by far, their most consistent offensive lineman when it comes to pass blocking efficiency, grading out with a (95.9) overall rating, good enough for 11th among all tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.
Long, has recorded 24.5 sacks since 2011, but has yet to record a sack in 2013. He has, however, recorded eight quarterback pressures through two games. During that same span, Free has only allowed four total quarterback pressures. Long won’t be an easy test for Free, but unlike last season, I think Free can win this matchup.