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Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Cowboys still searching for an interior lineman

By Calvin Watkins

OXNARD, Calif. -- The Dallas Cowboys were spurned Wednesday morning by Brandon Moore, who backed out of a one-year deal to retire.

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Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he was surprised to see Moore back out of the deal, but respected the decision. With injuries along the offensive line, Jones said the team is still searching for talent along the line.

"Obviously, that’s why we were looking and we’re not through looking," Jones said. "We obviously have options but we also have parameters and we got to work within our cap situation. We don’t have an unlimited situation here, but we have guys we're looking at and we will continue to look. But there’s more than one way to acquire a player. Get him through free agency, you can trade for him, you can wait and see if he becomes available. We're looking."

Of the 18 offensive linemen on the 90-man training camp roster, seven are injured including four on the interior line.

Projected starting left guard Nate Livings is recovering from minor knee surgery, and Jones said he's had no setbacks.

The projected starting right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau has practiced three times since returning from knee surgery. Bernadeau is getting snaps with the first team and should play Friday night at the Oakland Raiders.

Jones did say he's comfortable with Ronald Leary as the first-team left guard, but cautioned it wasn't time to name starters just yet.

Yet the starting line for the Raiders game would be: Doug Free and Tyron Smith at tackles, Travis Frederick at center and Leary and Bernadeau at guard. Jones mentioned backup center Phil Costa as someone to depend on for 2013 but stopped mentioning names after that.

"Hopefully, Bernadeau is going to be fine," Jones said. "You need more than just him, that makes five, then we got Costa and then we got a lot of people working hard and we got some people on [conditioning] cords and we got some people who hadn’t made it to cords yet. We gotta -- obviously it’s a position where we do have some concerns. It's probably really the only position where we have some concerns."

The Cowboys have close to $10 million in salary cap space, so that's not an issue in trying to sign a player.

"We have to be careful how we use our resources," Jones said. "But we have a good feel for it. Obviously a good enough feel where we can't be flippant with it. But at the same time, if the right situation is there, and we feel like we can improve ourselves, then we would."