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Cowboys vs. Eagles 2012: Doug Free's struggles continue

Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Doug Free struggled against a Philadelphia Eagles defensive line that hasn't been all that spectacular of late.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Dallas Cowboys held off a desperate Philadelphia Eagles team 38-33 on Sunday night, but concerns along the offensive line linger as Jason Garrett's team heads to Cincinnati this coming weekend.

At the heart of the problem was right tackle Doug Free, who struggled mightily in protecting Dallas quarterback Tony Romo. Free gave up the Eagles' only sack of the game to Philadelphia defensive end Brandon Graham in the first half and also was called for two penalties, though one was negated by a defensive infraction.

From Dallas Cowboys blog Blogging the Boys:

Break is what a lot of fans probably did while watching Doug Free's blocking attempts on the Eagles Wide 9. He was routinely beaten; relinquishing sacks, holds, embarrassment, frustration and curse words. Head coach Jason Garrett says that he demands accountability, but folks were hard pressed to understand why Jermey Parnell didn't get a shot at right tackle with Free playing so brutally.

Garrett defended his tackle after the game, telling reporters that he didn't think about benching Free. The head coach and offensive line coach Bill Callahan told Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas/Forth Worth that Free played better in the second half, especially in terms of his pass protection.

The sixth-year veteran from Northern Illinois has committed an NFL-leading 13 penalties through 12 games this year.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.