The Dallas Cowboys bought themselves a post-Doug Free insurance policy with Friday with the signing of free-agent offensive lineman Byron Bell to a one-year deal.
Bell, a Greenville, Texas native, started 16 games at right tackle for Titans in 2015 before missing all last season with a dislocated ankle.
The 6-5, 340-pound Bell went undrafted out of New Mexico in 2011 but was a 12-game starter with Carolina as a rookie. He remained in the Panthers' starting lineup for three years before joining the Titans.
This isn't the sexiest news of the Cowboys weekend. To wit:
And of course ...
But a few weeks ago, when, as we reported at the time, Free was wanting his retirement, Dallas began making strides toward fortifying the offensive line. Young vet Jonathan Cooper returned on a one-year deal as a guard while the Cowboys plan to give La'el Collins his old left guard job back with the departure of Ronald Leary to Denver. They meanwhile crossed their fingers that Collins wouldn't have to move to right tackle, with the ideal scenario being that young oft-injured prospect Chaz Green would win that job.
That remains the optimal plan. But Bell gives Dallas a credentialed swing tackle ... and just-in-case insurance for what the Cowboys believe is the best line in football.