The abridged list of offensive linemen expected to become free agents:
Flozell Adams (Age 32), Tackle - Dallas; 6-7, 340
Chris Terry (Age 32), Tackle - Kansas City; 6-5, 295
Kwame Harris (Age 25), Tackle - San Francisco; 6-7, 322
Alan Faneca (Age 31), Guard - Pittsburgh; 6-5, 307
Jacob Bell (Age 26), Guard - Tennessee; 6-4, 295
Jake Scott (Age 26), Guard - Indianapolis; 6-5, 295
Rex Hadnot (Age 25), Guard - Miami; 6-2, 325
Casey Wiegmann (Age 34), Center - Kansas City; 6-2, 285
Jeremy Newberry (Age 31), Center - Oakland; 6-5, 315
John Wade (Age 32), Center - Tampa Bay; 6-5, 299
Brett Romberg (Age 28), Center - St. Louis; 6-2, 298
The only major move the Cowboys will make in this area would be to re-sign Flozell Adams but it is looking to be unlikely that is going to happen. Flozell is undoubtedly the top left tackle entering free agency and he has the chance to score a huge contract from another team. Dallas just does not have the cap room to give Adams the big contract he might be seeking and the Cowboys are also sitting on some untested talent in Doug Free, James Marten and Pat McQuistan (who has perhaps the worst profile picture ever) and at some point the Cowboys have to see what they have. Jerry Jones has acknowledged the issue at hand when talking to the DMN blog:
But Jerry was adamant about this: At some point, young tackles like James Marten and Pat McQuistan and Doug Free need to be thrown to the wolves. For better or worse, this may be that time.
"One of the dilemmas is how do you see it, and get him on the field and see a Romo?" Jones said. "How do you do that? How do get to see a McQuistan, how do you get to see those guys, and how long do they sit over there, when they may have been able to play better than the people that had been playing?"
It is going to be tough getting Flozell back next year yet the Cowboys may be in position to move on, albeit a bit uncomfortably. Throwing an untested lineman in at left tackle is always a shaky proposition especially heading into a supposed championship season. If Flozell does depart the Cowboys could look to find a tackle later in free agency but that is very unlikely with several hopefuls waiting in the wings. Another possibility that has shown up in some mock drafts is the Cowboys drafting a lineman early in the draft. One thing remains clear though; if the Cowboys fail to resign Flozell Adams any replacement is going to be an obvious step backwards from a proven all-pro veteran.
Besides, if Flozell leaves, who will step up with the false start penalties we have all grown so used to?
Hat tip to deke for first posting the DMN story in his diary.