The Dallas Cowboys let Ronald Leary slip away last week when he left the team and signed with the Denver Broncos in free agency. The idea was that La'el Collins would take over as a starter and eventually, down the line, replace Doug Free as the offensive tackle. However, ESPN just reported that Free has announced his retirement from the NFL leaving the Cowboys with a huge hole on their offensive line.

The Dallas Cowboys offensive line

For two years now, the Dallas Cowboys have boasted the best offensive line in the NFL. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin are all Pro-Bowl offensive linemen.

Ronald Leary and Doug Free provided veteran leadership on the line and together, they were the best in the NFL. The Cowboys signed undrafted free agent La'el Collins while he was projected as a first round talent when he was absolved of criminal charges in the death of his ex-girlfriend. Collins was ready to replace Leary when he left for the Denver Broncos in free agency but now there is a giant hole at offensive tackle with the departure of Doug Free, who spent his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys since they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Who can replace Doug Free with the Dallas Cowboys?

The Dallas Cowboys really need to use the 2017 NFL Draft on defense. They lost more than half of their starting secondary and need pass rushers on the defensive line and help at linebacker depth.

Now that Doug Free has retired, the Cowboys need a big powerful offensive lineman at right tackle as well. When it comes to their current roster, the Cowboys did draft Chaz Green in 2015 but he has suffered through injuries for two years now. He will get the first chance to replace Free. The Cowboys could also move La'el Collins to right tackle, where he played in college, and then find a new guard to replace Leary.

The Dallas Cowboys do gain $5 million in cap space because Doug Free is retiring, so they might be able to afford a free agent to work at guard. The problem is that NFL free agency is underway and there aren't many great options left.

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