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flozell adams cut | The DC Times

The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

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Flozell Adams’ Release: Is Tony Romo Upset?

When asked about the release of Flozell Adams last week, quarterback Tony Romo responded “Give me a week.”  So now that the week has passed, what are Romo’s thoughts on having someone replace the guy who has protected his blind side his entire career?

Per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Romo was a bit shocked by the news.  In fact, he learned about it at the same time as everyone else–through the media.

Said Romo, “I learned about it the same as everyone else.  No one asked me about it, nor should they, in my opinion.  There are people [at Valley Ranch] who work very hard in evaluating each position, and we’ve just been given those evaluations over the last week.  I trust those people to make the right decisions and I will go from there.”

Romo is saying all the right things, but surely he realizes the potential impact this move could have on the team.  Whether he agrees with the decision or not, however, Romo is doing the right thing in backing the club.

“It does impact me, obviously,” he said.  “It’s kind of hard for me to even talk about it, due to the respect I have for Flo.  I know I’ve never had to worry about that left side with him over there.”

It is a difficult spot for Romo to be in–forced to simultaneously support his friend and longtime protector and the higher-ups within the organization.  So far, though, the veteran quarterback is taking it in stride.

What do you think?  How upset is Romo?  Do you think the organization should have consulted with him prior to Adams’ release?

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Jerry Jones Statement Regarding Flozell Adams

Cutting a player with a tenure as long as Flozell Adams is always a difficult task.  In a team-issued statement, owner Jerry Jones made it clear just how valuable of an asset Adams has been over the years:

“Having a left tackle of Flozell Adams caliber has been a luxury for the Dallas Cowboys for the past 12 years.  That position is one of the most difficult to play and one of the three or four most important spots on an NFL roster.  Throughout our entire time here with the Cowboys this franchise has been blessed to first have Mark Tuinei and then be able to plug Flozell right in there as a second round pick in 1998.

I have never experienced what it is like to have a team that doesn’t enjoy excellent play at the left tackle position.  When we first selected Flozell, we thought we would move Larry Allen to left tackle, but that never happened because Flo was able to step right in and play at a high level very early on in his career.  We just put him in there and never looked back.”

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Flozell Adams and Ken Hamlin Out of Big D: The Ramifications

In an effort to make the new site go live as quickly as possible, we glossed over the release of Flozell Adams and Ken Hamlin.  It is now time to more deeply explore the consequences of this decision.

Of course, the first question that comes to mind is ‘why?’  Why would Dallas, in an uncapped year, cut two veteran starters whose backups are questionable at best?

The biggest problem we have with this decision is the timing.  With neither player set to receive a roster bonus before the draft, why not wait?  The Cowboys may have put themselves in a rather difficult spot.  They have shown their hand and, should they not have a backup plan, it may be awfully easy for teams to predict their draft day intentions.

Nonetheless, we have broken down below what we believe the organization may have been thinking.

Scenario #1

The first possible answer is that the Cowboys are supremely confident in this year’s draft class.  Perhaps they are relying on selecting two game-changing rookies in the first two rounds, one at left tackle and the other at free safety.

The problem with that logic is the top-tier players at both positions have a ridiculously high chance of being taken by the 27th selection.  Offensive tackles Russell Okung, Trent Williams, Bryan Bulaga, Anthony Davis, Bruce Campbell, and Charles Brown are all projected to be early-to-mid first-rounders.  Meanwhile, the only safeties we consider ‘elite,’ Eric Berry and Earl Thomas, figure to be long gone by the time Dallas is on the clock.

Further, not only the tackle and safety spots are affected by the release of Adams and Hamlin.  Don’t forget that Alan Ball, a FS/CB, is more likely to take over at free safety.  In fact, as of today Dallas’ starting free safety would be either Ball or second-year man Michael Hamlin.  Not exactly Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu back there.

Ball’s probable departure from the dime cornerback position leaves the Cowboys with just three serviceable players at that position (albeit three very talented ones).  As much as Dallas is now in search of impact players at left tackle and free safety, a first round selection of a play-making cornerback/returner is not out of the question (hello, Kyle Wilson).

Nonetheless, relying on the draft to supply starters at two extremely critical positions is a head-turning decision.

Scenario #2

The second possibility is that the Cowboys are simply more confident in both the offensive tackle and free safety positions than fans.  The club is known to love Doug Free (we aren’t as head-over-heels for Free), and Jerry Jones has stated that he could transition to left tackle.

However, that would leave second-year tackle Robert Brewster as the primary backup to both tackle spots.  While the drop-off from Adams to Free may not be that great, Dallas better pray for no injures, as the decrease in proven talent and experience from Free to Brewster is enormous.

In many ways, the Cowboys’ situation at offensive tackle is much like that at running back.  Free, like Tashard Choice, could probably start a lot of places.  Let go of Choice, though, and you are left one injury away from having Marion Barber as the sole experienced RB.  With Adams gone, the same is true of Doug Free and Marc Colombo at tackle.  Even a first-rounder lacks the necessary experience to make an immediate impact, meaning Free is probably better suited as an excellent swing tackle.

At free safety, Alan Ball played fairly well last season (although we still only gave him a ‘C+’ overall grade).  Perhaps the organization is more confident in Ball’s abilities than us, or maybe they truly see something special in Michael Hamlin.  Either way, both current options are a downgrade, at least for now, from Ken Hamlin.

Scenario #3

The higher-ups within the Cowboys’ organization are not dumb.  As much as this move may come to a shock to some of us, be confident in knowing that the team ultimately has a plan.  There was undoubtedly a rhyme and a reason to this decision.

In an earlier post, we hinted that the Cowboys may have something up their sleeve.  The more we think about it, the more that idea makes sense.

Thus, the third and final scenario involves the Cowboys making a big-time move in free agency either before or during the draft.  In a previous Mailbag, we discussed the possibility of the team signing Ravens LT Jared Gaither.  That path just became a whole lot more believable.

The Ravens placed a first round tender on Gaither, but there are rumors circulating that they may accept less for him.  While the Cowboys’ 59th overall selection is probably too little, perhaps a package such as a second and a fourth-rounder might do the trick.  That would leave the squad with their first round pick to grab a play-making free safety like USF’s Nate Allen.

There is also an outside chance that the Cowboys could sign Rams’ restricted free agent free safety O.J. Atogwe.  Atogwe is the ball-hawk this team needs, snatching 15 picks in the last three years.  He also can be signed without giving up a draft pick.  Still, we would rate the likelihood of this happening as lower than the Gaither scenario.

Conclusions

Like “The Blonde Side” blogger Amber Leigh hinted at in her last post, we don’t always have to agree with what the Cowboys do, but we should always support them.  As ambiguous as this move feels at the time, we can at least feel some relief in knowing that there was a motive behind it.

Consequently, we believe yet another breaking news story is just over the horizon.  Whether it is the signing of Gaither or a big draft day trade, be prepared to hear in the near future that your Cowboys have made yet another big splash.

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Cowboys Release Flozell Adams

In addition to FS Ken Hamlin, the Cowboys have also reportedly cut LT Flozell Adams. This comes as a bit of a shock to us. Adams was due a base salary of $5 million and a $2.5 million roster bonus in June. Those numbers are less significant in an uncapped year, however.

With Adams gone, Dallas will now likely start Doug Free at left tackle. We see Free as the probable opening day starter regardless of the Cowboys’ draft plans. We have already publicly questioned Free’s ability to play on the left side. That isn’t to say he will inevitably fail at left tackle, but simply that his effectiveness there will be a huge questions mark.

Perhaps the Cowboys did not read our list of the top five reasons to not cut Flozell Adams. Heading that list was that Adams was still the best left tackle on the Cowboys’ roster.

Dallas is now virtually certain to address either left tackle or free safety in the first round of the draft. However, with the top-tier guys at both spots possibly gone by the 27th selection, the Cowboys’ draft plans are a bit murky at this point.

We presume this team has something up their sleeve. Are Ravens’ tackle Jared Gaither or Rams’ safety O.J. Atogwe possibilities? Stay tuned.