Thursday, August 8, 2013
Plenty of candidates for offensive line help
By Calvin Watkins
OXNARD, Calif. -- The Cowboys have a gaggle of candidates for the interior of the offensive line to choose from.
The team was spurned by guard Brandon Moore on Wednesday morning after he agreed to a deal but then decided he wanted to retire.
Thursday morning before leaving for Oakland, the site of Friday's second preseason game, the Cowboys created a roster spot by releasing guard Jeff Olson, who recovered from a concussion.
Among some notable names available on the free agent market are Deuce Lutui, Bobbie Williams, Cooper Carlisle, Leonard Davis, Reggie Wells, Derrick Dockery, Antoine Caldwell, Jamey Richard, Rex Hadnot and Montrae Holland.
Dockery, Holland and Davis are former Cowboys, but there are also players with ties to offensive coordinator Bill Callahan available for a potential deal. Moore played for Callahan with the New York Jets.
"The way Jason (Garrett) looks at this thing, we sign guys and they come in here and they compete," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "I don’t think anything is necessarily a given at those spots."
What also helps is finding an offensive linemen who is familiar to the zone blocking scheme Callahan uses.
"I don't think this scheme is anymore difficult than any other," Jones said. "The guys that are out there they will adjust and we'll play the guys accordingly."
When the Cowboys play the Raiders on Friday night the starting guards will be Ronald Leary on the left side and Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard with Travis Frederick at center.
Money isn't an issue for the Cowboys because the team has nearly $10 million in salary cap space. Jones, however, likes to have space available in case the Cowboys need to sign a free agent during the season.
"It's a work in progress. If we see opportunities, we'll look at them," Jones said. "We'll also be patient. We're not going to just push a panic button and say this has to be fixed tomorrow."