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OTs Doug Free, Tyron Smith Could Switch Sides

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett confirmed that the team is considering having offensive tackles Doug Free and Tyron Smith switch sides in 2012.

“It’s certainly a possibility,” Garrett said. “That was a possibility when we first drafted Tyron, and one of the many things that was attractive about him was his physical ability to play both right and left tackle in this league.”

The Cowboys used the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on Smith, who played right tackle at USC but has the feet, strength and athleticism to play left tackle at the NFL level. The 6-foot-5, 311-pound Smith, who didn’t turn 21 until December, started all 16 games at right tackle in 2011 and signed through 2014 with a team option for 2015.

Dallas also re-signed the 6-foot-6, 323-pound Free to a four-year, $32 million contract on July 29. For the second consecutive season, Free started all 16 games at left tackle, but played on the right side earlier in his career and gives the Cowboys the flexibility to make a change.

“Doug is capable of playing both. Tyron is capable of playing both,” Garrett said. “We’re trying to make the best fit for our football team, and for each of those guys, so they can play at their best.

“If we were to do that, we would try to do that earlier, rather than later, to give them enough opportunity to do it and get better at it.”


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