Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants, Week 17: Where Should Doug Free Play?
I recently published another piece at the Dallas Observer. Head over there to check it out. It details four points from Sunday night’s loss, explaining how they will affect Dallas in 2012. Among them is the notion of moving left tackle Doug Free to guard.
Many readers here have frequently suggested position switches for players over the years, and usually I disagree. It is much more difficult to change positions than people realize. When it comes to Free, however, I think a move to guard might be a good idea. Free has the skill set to thrive inside, particularly on plays on which he can get to the second level.
The largest qualm most people (including those within the organization, perhaps) will have with moving Free to guard is the $32 million he received in August. Guards aren’t typically paid that kind of money, especially when they are switching positions. The problem with that reasoning is that Free’s contract is a sunk cost. In economic terms, that means it should have no bearing on future decisions. The Cowboys will pay Free that money regardless of his position, so why not put the best lineup on the field?
Moving Free would of course be contingent on finding a quality right tackle, likely in the draft (assuming current right tackle Tyron Smith moves to the left side). There will be plenty of options available for Dallas with the 14th overall pick, and an offensive line manned by Smith at left tackle and Free/a first-rounder on the right side looks a whole lot better than the current version.