FREE AGENCY: Unlocking the O-Line

FREE AGENCY: Unlocking the O-Line

Make no mistake about it, the play of the offensive line had as much to do with the Cowboys' success as anything else did in 2007. The question, now what? What's the deal with Flozell Adams and where does Dallas go from here?

Starter -- LT Flozell Adams (32) [UFA]
Starter -- LG Kyle Kosier (29) [5 years/$15 million through 2011]
Starter -- C Andre Gurode (29) [6 years/$30 million through 2013]
Starter -- RG Leonard Davis (29) [7 years/$49.6 million through 2014]
Starter -- LT Marc Colombo (29) [2 years/$7 million through 2009]
Backup -- G Cory Procter (25) [ERFA]
Backup -- G Joe Berger (25) [ERFA]
Backup -- T Doug Free (24) [4 years/undisclosed through 2011]
Backup -- T Joe Marten (23) [4 years/$2.5 million through 2011]
Backup -- T Pat McQuistan (24) [4 years/$1.67 million through 2010]

The Cowboys offensive line was as big a key to the team's success as the stellar play of Tony Romo and Terrell Owens.

Over the course of 16 games, they simply wore teams down with their size, especially in the second half of their 13 wins.

Last year's major free agent acquisition, guard Leonard Davis proved to be nothing short of a huge success. Davis finally lived up to his enormous expectation and made his first Pro Bowl and was every bit as good as the Cowboys hoped he would be.

Flozell Adams wants to return to the Cowboys in 2008, but Dallas could elect to go in a different direction.


2008 Free Agent OTs
Unrestricted Free Agents
Wharton, Travelle (CAR)
Dorsey, Nat (CLV)
Adams, Flozell (DAL)
Stokes, Barry (DET)
Glenn, Tarik (IND)
McDougle, Stockar (JAX)
Williams, Maurice (JAX)
Jones, Adrian (KC)
Turley, Kyle (KC)
Rosenthal, Mike (MIA)
Green, Cornell (OAK)
Starks, Max (PIT)
Locklear, Sean (SEA)
Womack, Floyd (SEA)
Gorin, Brandon (SL)
Steussie, Todd (SL)
Fabini, Jason (WAS)
Sampson, Kevin (WAS)

Restricted Free Agents
Kieft, Adam (CIN)
Svitek, Will (KC)
Lekkerkerker, Cory (MIA)
Essex, Trai (PIT)
Loper, Daniel (TEN)
Stewart, David (TEN)

Davis will be joined in Hawaii by Andre Gurode and Flozell Adams.

In fact, it could be the last time Adams wears a Cowboys uniform.

An unrestricted free agent, Adams is at the crossroads in Dallas. The Cowboys must decide if they are going to re-sign him, or trust the little used Pat McQuistan, James Marten or Doug Free to step up, or move Davis to left tackle or sign a free agent.

A multi-year deal would likely allow Adams, who turns 33 in May, to finish his career a Cowboy.

On paper, re-signing Adams makes sense. He's coming off an extremely productive season so why ruin a good thing? The Cowboys were more productive offensively in 2007 than any other year in their history.

However a closer inspection reveals Adams has been up and down in his career, and has also dealt with his fair share of injuries, including a torn ACL that kept him out of most of the 2005 season.

In addition, Adams may simply want too much money. At his age and his size with a major knee injury on his resume, is he worth the risk?

The answer to that question likely depends on how much money he feels he's worth. As the No. 1 ranked offensive tackle available in free agency this year according to Scout.com and coming off his best season to date, he may be able to get a bigger payday elsewhere.

If the Cowboys elect to go in a different direction, a handful of experienced players would be available in free agency, including Carolina's Jordan Gross, Seattle's Sean Locklear, San Francisco's Kwame Harris and Pittsburgh's Max Starks.

However the top two in that list, Gross and Locklear, would likely be out of the Cowboys' price range.

As far as the other free agents on the offensive line are concerned, the Cowboys would like to bring back both of their exclusive rights free agents, including G Joe Berger (versatile in limited playing time) and C Cory Procter (actually started two games last year and held his own).

The remaining offensive linemen in Dallas are essentially locked up to long term deals. No changes are expected there.

As far as Adams goes, TheRanchReport.com is hearing he would rather stay in Dallas than go elsewhere and would be willing to take slightly less money in order to make that happen.

The Cowboys could always franchise Adams, but TheRanchReport.com is hearing that likely won't happen. Don't be surprised to see Adams get re-signed right as the free agency deadline approaches.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side, the Cowboys would like to have him back and are hopeful a deal can be struck.

Bottom line, expect Flozell Adams back with Dallas in 2008. Somehow, some way, they will get a deal done.

Also don't forget about these free agent tackles who are currently without a team:

Chris Terry - Was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs recently and could be insurance for a team.

Roman Oben - Journeyman left tackle who was waived by the San Diego Chargers recently. Would be decent depth for a team.

Zach Wiegert - Has played both tackle spots and could be insurance for a team.

Kenyatta Walker - Was with the Carolina Panthers earlier in 2007. Could provide depth.

Leander Jordan - Can play right or left tackle in a backup role.

Todd Fordham - Has started some and could be insurance at right tackle.

Torrin Tucker - Basically a fourth tackle and had a tryout with the Buffalo Bills recently. Also played with the Cowboys as recently as three years ago.

* Scout.com's Adam Caplan contributed to this report.

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