and the Cowboys didn't have to help him out a whole lot by keeping a tight end in on that side.
Look at some of the top pass rushers Adams faced during the regular season: Osi Umenyiora (three times), Jason Taylor, Aaron Schobel, Trent Cole (twice), Andre Carter (twice), that New England defense, that Green Bay defense, that Carolina defense, and guess what? Only one guy lining up on Flo's side in those 12 games was able to put Romo on the ground with the ball. That was Philadelphia's Trent Cole the second time around.
Other than that, goose eggs.
Now did you really want to gamble with that kind of success? When your offensive bread and butter is Romo throwing the ball to Terrell Owens or Jason Witten? I'd think not.
The Cowboys realized that, and frankly, I don't think Adams really wanted to go anywhere else at this stage of his career, that is, as long as the Cowboys were in the ball park financially. Adams is somewhat of a homebody. I get the idea he doesn't like a lot of noise, doesn't need a lot of lavish toys and seems quite content to remain where he has been for 10 years. There is something to be said for comfort, and now he returns working for the guy who coached him his first four seasons in the league, Hudson Houck.
Hey, about the worst thing you can say about Flozell Adams is that he has played dodgeball with the media for the latter half of his career, which is a shame for you guys because when he used to talk - and on the few occasions he still does - he's quite insightful and enjoyable to listen to out here.
Again, as long as he wasn't getting woefully low-balled on what's probably going to be his final NFL contract, i.e., final signing bonus, which is the most important aspect of it all, why leave?
And from the Cowboys' standpoint, why upset the apple cart? Re-signing your Pro Bowl left tackle, and really, no matter the cost, is just the price of doing business in the NFL. Because if you are out there with some Torrin Tucker, then I don't care who you have at quarterback or who your quarterback is trying to throw to, the whole thing is going to get mucked up.
Adams will turn 33 on May 18. He's got a good three years left in him, providing he remains healthy and motivated. For an offensive lineman who cares, this should be the prime of his career. Hey, these guys play until at least 35 all the time, or at least the good ones do.
Now for salary cap purposes, the Cowboys signed him to a six-year deal so they can adequately spread out his signing bonus. But again, in this case, if you have to eat the final two or three seasons of proration, and who knows, maybe not that much, then that's once again the price of doing business in the NFL.
To me in the NFL, here are the hardest three positions to fill, and in order: Quarterback, cornerback, offensive left tackle. The rest, well, after a pass-rusher, seem to be a dime a dozen. Or at least let's put it this way, you can get by with about whatever.
But you absolutely can not fudge these three spots.
That is why the Cowboys would have talked until they were blue in the face for the remainder of Thursday with Flo and Woy. That is why they would not have given up even if nothing had been accomplished by the 11:01 p.m. deadline on Thursday - just as they didn't do five years ago when Adams actually spent 15 hours on the open market before signing the five-year, $25 million deal laced with a $10 million signing bonus.
Funny, and I remember this vividly, the Cowboys were criticized at the time for giving that kind of signing bonus money to a left tackle with no Pro Bowl credentials. That was about $500,000 more in signing bonus than the Giants had paid their left tackle Luke Petitgout, who played four more seasons with the Giants. He never went to the Pro Bowl, and was released after the 2006 season, injuries getting in his way. Adams went on to four in those next five years, missing only in 2005 when he suffered the torn ACL.
So again, as it should be when it comes to free agency, first things first. Do not stray from your priorities. And with those restricted free-agency tenders already given Marion Barber and Chris Canty and having spent but relative salary-cap chump change to