Model-free analysis has been extensively used to extract information on motions in proteins over a wide range of timescales from NMR relaxation data. We present a detailed analysis of the effects of rotational anisotropy on the model-free analysis of a ternary complex for dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). Our findings show that the small degree of anisotropy exhibited by DHFR (Dparallel/Dperpendicular = 1.18) introduces erroneous motional models, mostly exchange terms, to over 50% of the NH spins analyzed when isotropic tumbling is assumed. Moreover, there is a systematic change in S2, as large as 0.08 for some residues. The significant effects of anisotropic rotational diffusion on model-free motional parameters are in marked contrast to previous studies and are accentuated by lowering of the effective correlation time using isotropic tumbling methods. This is caused by the preponderance of NH vectors aligned perpendicular to the principal diffusion tensor axis and is readily detected because of the high quality of the relaxation data. A novel procedure, COPED (COmparison of Predicted and Experimental Diffusion tensors) is presented for distinguishing genuine motions from the effects of anisotropy by comparing experimental relaxation data and data predicted from hydrodynamic analyses. The procedure shows excellent agreement with the slow motions detected from the axially symmetric model-free analysis and represents an independent procedure for determining rotational diffusion and slow motions that can confirm or refute established procedures that rely on relaxation data. Our findings show that neglect of even small degrees of rotational diffusion anisotropy can introduce significant errors in model-free analysis when the data is of high quality. These errors can hinder our understanding of the role of internal motions in protein function.