Join Mickey, Bryan, and Rowan as they breakdown all of the latest Cowboys news.
PRO: The Cowboys drafted Doug Free in the fourth round (122nd overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft with the hopes of him developing into a key player on the offensive line. He spent the first three seasons of his career learning from some of the best in the NFL, including 12-year veteran Flozell Adams and former first round draft picks Marc Colombo and Leonard Davis. The 2010 season was a welcomed change for Free, and a surprise outcome for the Cowboys, as he became the club’s starting left tackle following the release of Adams in the offseason. After consistency and dependability at the position for the better part of 12 years, Free stepped up to the challenge and was one of the top performers on the offense through the season, displaying the same consistency and dependability the club has expected from its blind-side protector. After starting seven games at right tackle in 2009 in place of an injured Colombo, Free started all 16 games at left tackle in 2010. He again manned the left tackle position in 2011, starting all 16 games and helping the club to it’s second-best offensive yardage output in the history of the organization (6,008 yards). With his four-year contract signed prior to the 2011 season, Free should be entrenched as one of the club’s tackles for many years to come.
7/29/11: Signed a four-year contract extension.
4/29/07: Drafted in the fourth round (122nd overall) by Dallas.
• For the second consecutive season, started all 16 games at left tackle and helped the club to 6,008 yards - the second-best yardage output in the history of the franchise.
• Allowed time for Romo to throw for 342 yards while improving his club record of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 19 in the season opener at the N.Y. Jets (9/11.
• Romo threw for 345 yards, his 28th career 300-yard game - and a pair of touchdowns - his 20th straight game with a touchdown pass.
• Helped block for the first 100-yard rusher of the season - Felix Jones, 115 yards - in the home-opening win over Washington (9/26).
• Aided the offense in racking up 434 yards, the second-most yards to date, against Detroit (10/2).
• Opened holes for DeMarco Murray to rush for a club-record 253 yards as the team finished with the fourth-most rushing yards in a game in team history (294).
• The offensive line did not give up a sack in back-to-back games against Seattle (11/6) and Buffalo (11/13) as Romo completed a career-high tying 13 straight passes to open the game against the Bills. The offense also scored a touchdown on each of its first four possessions to open the Bills game for the first time in team history.
• Blocked for a new quarterback in Stephen McGee against Philadelphia (12/24) after Romo was out with a hand injury following the first series. McGee finished his first action of the season 24-of-38 for 182 yards and a touchdown behind the line’s effort.
• Started 16 games for the first time in his career, manning the left tackle position.
• Made his first career start at left tackle in the season opener at Washington (9/12) and helped the team gain 380 total yards while controlling the clock for 34:03.
• In the home opener against Chicago (9/19), was part of an offense that racked up 410 yards - 374 through the air - and did not allow a sack on 51 attempts.
• In the win at Houston (9/26), the offense churned out 385 yards with three touchdowns. The unit gained 21 first downs, averaged 6.8 yards-per-play and did not yield a sack for the second straight week.
• Against Tennessee (10/10) the offense posted 511 yards to mark the team’s first 500-yard game since racking up 502 against St. Louis (9/30/07). It was the most yards gained by Dallas since the club had 541 in an overtime win at Washington (9/12/99), and it was the most in a non-overtime game since going for 513 against Minnesota (11/26/98).
• The Titans managed a season-high six sacks, but the line blocked for Tony Romo’s career-high 406 yards and Felix Jones topped 100 yards to mark the first time in team history a passer threw for 400 yards and a rusher topped 100.
• Was part of an offensive line against the N.Y. Giants (10/25) that had to adjust with three losses (Romo, fractured clavicle, Kyle Kosier, ankle, and Montrae Holland, groin). The line then allowed three sacks of Jon Kitna on 33 attempts as the quarterback threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
• Helped the offense gain 415 yards with 379 through the air by Kitna - the club’s new starting quarterback - against Jacksonville (10/31).
• In Jason Garrett’s first win as the interim head coach, the line protected Kitna for 327 yards and three touchdowns with one interception on 13-of-22 passing at the N.Y. Giants (11/14).
• In the home win against Detroit (11/21), Dallas running backs rushed for 134 yards as the offense racked up four touchdowns.
• On Thanksgiving Day against New Orleans (11/25), the line helped the offense gain 457 yards, including 144 on the ground, with three rushing touchdowns - the team’s first three-rushing touchdown performance since the Cowboys Stadium opener against the N.Y. Giants (9/20/09).
• Dallas gained a season-high 217 rushing yards - the most since Sept. 20, 2009 - as Kitna completed 18-of-26 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown in the overtime win at Indianapolis (12/5).
• Against Philadelphia (12/12) aided an offense that gained 349 yards with 22 first downs while giving up just one sack on 35 attempts.
• Helped rack up 434 yards while controlling the clock for 35:21 in the win against Washington (12/19).
• On Christmas night at Arizona (12/25), the offense converted 24 first downs and notched 382 yards despite Stephen McGee seeing his first career action at quarterback with the loss of Kitna (abdominal) through the second half.
• In the season-ending win at Philadelphia (1/2/11), offense protected McGee, who made the first start of his career, to complete 11-of-27 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown.
• Earned the first seven starts of his career, filling in at right tackle in place of Colombo, while seeing time in all 16 games.
• The Cowboys finished second in the NFL (second in the NFC) in total offense, averaging 399.4 yards-per-game.
• Dallas’ passing game finished sixth in the NFL (second in the NFC) with 267.9 yards-per-game.
• The rushing offense ranked seventh in the NFL (third in the NFC), gaining 2,103 yards on the season, 131.4 yards-per-game.
• Dallas gained 6,390 total yards of offense to mark the most in a season in team history and the first 6,000-plus yard season in team history.
• Played only on special teams in the season opener at Tampa Bay (9/13).
• Against Atlanta (10/25) played on special teams and relieved Adams in the fourth quarter at left tackle.
• Filled in at right tackle when Colombo suffered a broken left fibula and high ankle sprain on the second offensive series of the game at Green Bay (11/15). The line was still able to help Romo complete 24 passes for 251 yards with one touchdown and one interception while allowing five sacks.
• Earned his first career start against Washington (11/22) as the line allowed only one sack of Romo on 27 passing attempts as he threw for 158 yards and the running game was able to grind out 153 yards.
• The offense amassed 494 yards of total offense (195 rushing, 309 passing) against Oakland (11/26) for the fifth 400-yard game of the season, which tied the second-highest figure in a season in club history. The offense had 10 plays of 20-or-more yards and had eight plays of 25-or-more yards.
• The line allowed only two sacks of Romo at the N.Y. Giants (12/6) as he established career-bests in attempts (55) - second in team history - completions (41) - team record - and passing yards (392) for a completion percentage of 74.5 with three touchdowns. The team totaled 424 yards of offense, the sixth game of the season with 400-or-more yards, to the most games of 400-or-more yards in a season in club history (1979, 1981, 1983 and 2007).
• The offensive line helped rack up 439 total yards at previously undefeated New Orleans (12/19). It was the seventh game of 400-or-more yards this season, the most in a season in club history. The team had 195 yards of total offense in the first quarter and 156 passing yards as they jumped out to an early 14-0 lead on the Saints. The offense scored touchdowns on its first two possessions for the first time since against Seattle (11/27/08). The line also paved the way for rushers to gain 145 yards on the ground, including two touchdowns by Marion Barber.
• In the playoff-clinching win at Washington (12/27), the line allowed time for Romo to complete 25-of-38 passes for 286 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The offense totaled 393 yards giving them 5,916 through 15 games for the most in team history through 15 games. The line also controlled the clock for 35:02 as the team converted seven-of-13 on third down.
• Helped the club win its 17th NFC East Division title while paving the way for 179 rushing yards and 311 passing yards for 474 total yards of offense - upping their single-season club high of 400-yard games to eight - against Philadelphia (1/3/10). The offense gained 6,390 total yards on the season to establish a single-season club record and mark the first time the club has topped 6,000 yards in a season.
• Colombo returned to the starting line-up against Philadelphia (1/9/10) in the NFC Wild Card Game, but Free made his postseason debut on special teams.
• Took over for an injured Adams in the second quarter at Minnesota (1/17/10), and allowed time for Romo to complete 22-of-35 for 198 yards with one interception with six sacks - tying the third-most in a playoff game in club history. Blocked for a running game that gained 92 yards on 25 attempts.
• Played in all four preseason games, earning the starting nod in the final game at left tackle.
• Was inactive the first 13 weeks of the season and was active but did not play against the N.Y. Giants (12/14).
• Was again active but did not play against Baltimore (12/20) and at Philadelphia (12/28).
• Started at left tackle for Adams in the first preseason game against the Colts.
• Suffered a knee sprain during the Indianapolis game and missed the rest of the preseason rehabbing.
• Inactive for the first 15 games of the season.
• Made his NFL debut at Washington (12/30) at right tackle during the fourth quarter.
• Was inactive in the Divisional Playoff Game against the N.Y. Giants (1/13/08).
• Started all 49 games at Northern Illinois and was a semifinalist for the Draddy Award - which recognizes academic success, football performance, and exemplary community service.
• Earned first-team All-Mid American Conference and Academic All-MAC honors as a senior, was a member of the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award Watch List.
• Started 13 games for the Huskies, helping them go 7-6 and play in the Poinsettia Bowl against Texas Christian as a senior.
• Started 12 games at left tackle and earned first-team All-Mid American Conference honors. Helped the team gain 206.7 rushing yards-per-game, which ranked 16th in the nation, and 441.1 total yards-per-game.
• Was also nominated for MAC All-Academic honors and CoSIDA District V All-Academic honors after earning a 3.24 grade point average in industrial technology.
• Earned Sophomore All-American third-team honors from College Sports Report and was named second-team All-Mid American Conference by the league’s coaches.
• Started 12 games at left tackle, helping the team gain 438.8 total yards-per-game. Played a season-high 99 snaps against Eastern Michigan.
• Following his redshirt season, was named to the Freshman All-America third-team by The Sporting News. Started all 12 games, the first two at right tackle, the next nine at left tackle, and the last at tight end.
• Lettered three times in football at Lincoln High School in Manitowoc, Wisc., where he was an honor student.
• Was a team captain as a senior and was named defensive lineman of the year. Also earned first-team All-Fox Valley Conference honors on offense and defense, first-team Herald Times Reporter all-area honors, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel all-state honors.
• As a defensive tackle in 2002, led the team to a 7-3 record and a playoff berth, recording 64 tackles, 8.0 sacks, seven blocked kicks, six forced fumbles, five pass deflections, and two fumble recoveries.
• Also had six receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown as a tight end.
• Earned a degree in industrial technology from Northern Illinois.
• He and his wife, Dorothy, were married February 25, 2012.
• 2007 Dallas Cowboys Rookie Club.
• 2008 Poker for Pets for SPCA of Texas.
• 2009 Dallas Cowboys Komen Race For the Cure Corporate Race Team.
• 2009 Chopsticks for Cowboys benefitting the Rich Behm Family Trust.
• 2010 Dairy Max/Fuel Up to Play 60 Event.
• 2012 Stars of Texas Racing Against the Odds for American Diabetes Association.
• 2012 Reliant Home Run Derby benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters.
• 2012 Dallas Cowboys U High School Camp Head Coach.
• Annual team Holiday Hospital Visits.
• Salvation Army Angel Tree Christmas Program.
• Kickoff Luncheon and Dallas Cowboys Family Cookbook benefitting Happy Hill Farm.• Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.