One of the key areas in need of improvement for the Dallas Cowboys is the offensive line, which many believe has been the main reason for Tony Romo not playing to the best level he can play in. While shifting around players and looking at the draft is an option for the Cowboys, after freeing up some cap space, Eric Winston, formerly with the Kansas City Chiefs, becomes a very real possibility.
Winston has been in the NFL since 2006, playing with the Texans for six seasons until moving to the Kansas City Chiefs, mostly remembered for calling out Chiefs fans after they cheered the fact that Matt Cassel was knocked out of a game with a concussion. Like everyone on the Chiefs’ team, it wasn’t a season he would have liked to go through, but considering the Cowboys’ problems at most positions in their O-line, except for where Tyron Smith is (Left tackle), Winston will be an upgrade at right tackle.
The Cowboys have been holding talks with the released player since the weekend, with the team shifting focus from another released right tackle, Tyson Clabo from the Atlanta Falcons. If Winston is signed, it’ll leave Tyron Smith on the left side of the offensive line, leaving the Cowboys with a conundrum regarding Doug Free, the overpaid and disappointing right tackle who switched positions with Smith last season.
Free is owed $7 million in 2013, then $8 million in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Cowboys want to try and make him take a paycut, or as they call it, restructure his deal, leaving him with the team as a possible guard or maybe a backup for either Winston and/or Smith. By signing Winston, the Cowboys could gain leverage over Free, who might be released if he doesn’t agree to the salary reduction.