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The Yin and Yang of Flozell Adams and Doug Free

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One guy is nicknamed the Hotel. Hotels are sedentary objects - big, strong edifices that stay in one place. The other guy's name conjures up images of freedom. Freedom suggests the ability to go where you want. Thus, you get the yin and the yang of Flozell Adams and Doug Free. Two players, same position - styles as different as their names would suggest.

Flozell Adams is a big mountain of a man, a guy you have to beat with speed or deceptive moves. In his time with Dallas, you had to go around him because you surely weren't going through the Hotel. If he got his hands on you and his body was in position, it was over. You needed to take the alley around the side of the building to reach your intended target. Adams doesn't have bad feet, but as time passed it was hard for that large of a man to get moving laterally and retain proper position. Still, he managed to shut-down plenty of speed rushers, even as late as last season. A testament to veteran savvy and innate skill.

Doug Free is a big man, but nothing out of the ordinary in the world of professional football. He's not known for his size and strength, but is known as a guy with great athleticism, especially his feet; he's a guy that can move. He's free to roam, if you try to go around him, he has the ability to move and block the path. That mobility comes with a price - questions about his strength to stop the straight-on bull rush. While Adams was a giant rock, unmovable; Free is more of a strong tree, one that could hold, or could break, depending on the power of the attacking force. Defensive ends have spent years working on speed moves to beat the Cowboys left tackle, now they'll go the other way and test the strength of Free, and try to use his inexperience against him.

So welcome to a new era at Cowboys left tackle. How long will Doug Free's era last? We can only hope it comes close to the one Flozell Adams put together. Free's style of play is a different animal from Flozell's, but both can be successful in the NFL. The real test is whether or not a year from now we're all saying, "Gee, I sure miss that big hotel that used to anchor the end of our line. This other guy is giving away free shots on our quarterback."