You Are Now Free to Believe in Doug

Watched some Packers-Bears on Monday Night Football last night and it hit me how good Cowboys' left tackle Doug Free has been this season.

How's that you ask?

Bears' defensive lineman Julius Peppers was all over the field in Chicago's 20-17 win. (By the way, when their opponents have the ball inside the 10-yard line and are obviously running down the clock to try a game-winning, chip-shot field goal at the gun, why are NFL coaches so stubborn/reluctant to let the other team score?) He only had two tackles officially, but he pressured Aaron Rodgers out of the pocket repeatedly and blocked a key field goal.

Against the Cowboys last week?


Peppers was a non-factor against Free, recording neither a tackle nor a sack. I do remember him knocking down a pass at the line of scrimmage. Last Sunday Texans' heralded end Mario Williams was similarly stymied, showing up on the stat sheet with only three quarterback hits.

In the opener against Washington, the Redskins moved their best pass-rusher - Brian Orakpo - away from Free to Alex Barron with disastrous results for Dallas. Andre Carter, left to battle Free, was sack-free.

In fact, quarterback Tony Romo has dropped back to pass 130 times this season and only Redskins' linebacker Rocky McIntosh has gotten to him. Not bad for an offensive line that's taken a lot of criticism.

Along with not allowing a sack, Free has been called for just one penalty - a 5-yard false start. Entering this season we were concerned about left tackle.

Not anymore.

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