Free has no excuse for subpar play on O-line

BY foxsports • September 26, 2012

IRVING – Doug Free doesn't have any excuses for his subpar play on the offensive line. The Cowboys' starting right tackle has been penalized a league-high six times, quarterback Tony Romo, who has been sacked seven times, has been under constant pressure and the production in the running game has declined the last two weeks.

And Free is accepting his share of blame.

"I haven't pass-protected well enough. We haven't run the ball well enough. That definitely contributes to what I've done," Free said Wednesday. "I don't think I've done a good enough job and we got to get it fixed."

Free, who signed a four-year, $32 million contract extension last year, moved to right tackle in the offseason after playing left tackle in 2011. He is also working under a new offensive line coach in Bill Callahan. But Free said those two changes shouldn't matter because he had sufficient time to adapt during the offseason.

The 28-year-old also confirmed that he is not dealing with any health issues.

"I definitely haven't played up to my potential or what I think I should," Free said, "and I just got to keep working on it."

Free has been called twice for offensive holding and four times for false starts. The Cowboys are last in the NFC in rushing, averaging 76.7 yards per game.

"He's been inconsistent here and there," Callahan said of Free on Wednesday. "He's a valuable player of our line and he's a leader in our line and our room as well.

"He's a guy who is smart and savvy. He knows what his issues are and he works hard at correcting them."