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Eric Winston, Cowboys reportedly in talks

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04:54 PM ET 04.08 | Protecting Tony Romo has been a problem for the Dallas Cowboys recently -- and Jerry Jones is doing his best to help provide Romo with extra protection. Dallas is in talks with free-agent offensive tackle Eric Winston, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Clearance Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram suggests that the Cowboys are not in talks with Winston, and encourages fans to "pump the brakes." Kansas City released Winston in early March, just one season after Winston signed a four-year, $22 million deal with the Chiefs. Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel were relieved of their duties, however, and Kansas City's new regime wasted little time cleaning house. Winston drew interest from the Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles after being released, but looks poised to join the Dallas Cowboys in the near-future. Doug Free served as Dallas' right tackle, and according to Pro Football Focus, graded out as the 66th-best offensive tackle in football in 2012. Free has a cap charge over $10 million in each of the next three seasons -- and his contract currently represents dead money for 2013. Dallas could either move Free to guard, or wait until later this season to release Free, and could then spread out Free's cap charge -- and save money for the 2013 season.

Adam Schefter

, USA TODAY Sports USA TODAY Sports
April 8, 2013  05:31 PM ET

**** yeah!

April 8, 2013  05:32 PM ET

Cut Free now and sign Winston ASAP.

April 8, 2013  06:38 PM ET

Chill, Winston! Don'chu be no cloud on a sunny day.

April 8, 2013  08:04 PM ET

If Dallas signs Winston and can grab Jon Cooper in the draft the Cowboys' offensive line will be WAY better in 2013.

For one thing, Tyron Smith and Winston would make a really nice set of tackles. Plus Dallas could then use Doug Free at guard, which for all his flaws Free is actually a mauler of a guard. And having Free and Cooper alongside Smith and Winston would mean the only questionable spot on the line would be center, but both Ryan Cook and Phil Costa are both capable, if not spectacular, centers.

I hope this happens. I really do. Maybe Goodell's cap penalties on Dallas were a good thing, aver all, because it sorta looks like by being patient in free agency the Cowboys now have an opportunity for some pieces to fall into place.

April 8, 2013  08:05 PM ET

Then again, knowing JJ he's gonna pass on Winston and Cooper and draft some player that isn't really needed at all.

All I know is somebodys gonna die if Dallas doesn't sign a FA tackle and pick a guard in the draft.

April 8, 2013  08:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

If Dallas signs Winston and can grab Jon Cooper in the draft the Cowboys' offensive line will be WAY better in 2013.For one thing, Tyron Smith and Winston would make a really nice set of tackles. Plus Dallas could then use Doug Free at guard, which for all his flaws Free is actually a mauler of a guard. And having Free and Cooper alongside Smith and Winston would mean the only questionable spot on the line would be center, but both Ryan Cook and Phil Costa are both capable, if not spectacular, centers.I hope this happens. I really do. Maybe Goodell's cap penalties on Dallas were a good thing, aver all, because it sorta looks like by being patient in free agency the Cowboys now have an opportunity for some pieces to fall into place.

Another option: cut Free, sign Winston, and select a pair of guards in the draft.

Luckily this year's crop of draftable players includes a plethora of quality offensive linemen.

April 8, 2013  08:25 PM ET

This would make me very, VERY happy.

April 8, 2013  09:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

If Dallas signs Winston and can grab Jon Cooper in the draft the Cowboys' offensive line will be WAY better in 2013.For one thing, Tyron Smith and Winston would make a really nice set of tackles. Plus Dallas could then use Doug Free at guard, which for all his flaws Free is actually a mauler of a guard. And having Free and Cooper alongside Smith and Winston would mean the only questionable spot on the line would be center, but both Ryan Cook and Phil Costa are both capable, if not spectacular, centers.I hope this happens. I really do. Maybe Goodell's cap penalties on Dallas were a good thing, aver all, because it sorta looks like by being patient in free agency the Cowboys now have an opportunity for some pieces to fall into place.

Hold on there, buckaroo! That leads to the sort of big, bad offensive line that knocks people on their butts while running backs break their will by ripping off yardage play after play and then a physical wide receiver dominates down field while a tight end rips them up on short passes.

That's... That's... So '90's! It would never work in Dallas!

April 8, 2013  09:58 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Hold on there, buckaroo! That leads to the sort of big, bad offensive line that knocks people on their butts while running backs break their will by ripping off yardage play after play and then a physical wide receiver dominates down field while a tight end rips them up on short passes.

That's... That's... So '90's! It would never work in Dallas!

God forbid...

 
April 9, 2013  01:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Hold on there, buckaroo! That leads to the sort of big, bad offensive line that knocks people on their butts while running backs break their will by ripping off yardage play after play and then a physical wide receiver dominates down field while a tight end rips them up on short passes. That's... That's... So '90's! It would never work in Dallas!

Turns out you were right. David Moore of cowboysblog.dallasnews.com is reporting that Cowboys officials have shot down any Eric Winston and/or Tyson Clabo rumors. I guess Dallas prefers to try to fix the line strictly through the draft.

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