With an interest to improve an offensive line that committed a litany of penalties and barely any positive yardage in the rushing game last season, the Dallas Cowboys have been tied to a free-agent right tackle Eric Winston.
Winston has had a difficult time in free agency this offseason, as he’s seeking roughly $3 to $4 million per season, according to ProFootballTalk, but so far he hasn’t had any takers.
The Cowboys are interested, but with $5 million in cap space, Winston may have to drop his fee if he wants to wear the blue and silver.
Tackle Doug Free is the third highest paid Cowboys in 2013, but his underwhelming performance last season was one of the reasons Dallas ranked in the dead last in the NFL with 79.1 rushing yards per game.
Dallas will take a $10 million-plus cap hit on Free next season, and another $3.4 million hit on the next highest-paid tackle Tyron Smith. While the offensive line struggled to open holes for the run game, the unit also conceded just 36 sacks, giving quarterback Tony Romo much more time in the pocket.
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Winston was a part of the fifth-ranked Kansas City Chiefs rushing attack last season. He also spent five seasons with the Houston Texans, where he helped running back Arian Foster finish among the top rushers in the league.
Team president Stephen Jones could also look to Cincinnati Bengals free agent Andre Smith.
The four-year veteran has failed to come to terms with the club on a new contract, and remains one of the best right tackles on the market.
Though there are questions surrounding his worth ethic and offseason eating habits, Smith would likely be viewed as a welcome addition who could help the Dallas running game, and perhaps keep Romo even more upright.
The 26-year-old former Alabama star has made roughly $17 million over the last two seasons, so Dallas may have to consider restructuring Free or Tyron Smith’s deals.