Montrae Holland will be a starter

July, 29, 2011
7/29/11
9:55
AM ET
SAN ANTONIO -- It's uncertain if the Cowboys will find another guard to replace Leonard Davis, who was released on Thursday, but for now, Montrae Holland is the starter at right guard.

Holland signed a two-year contract in 2010 that surprised many, but the big picture thinking was he could develop into a quality backup guard to Kyle Kosier and Davis.

In Week 1, Holland started for an injured Kosier then replaced him in Week 3 at Houston when he left again due to injury.

Davis was benched in a Week 4 game vs. Tennessee for Holland who performed well until he had to leave with an eye injury. Davis didn't lose his starting job but it was apparent the team could go in a different direction in the offseason.

A financial savings of $6 million on the salary cap also led to Davis' depature. So here comes Holland, whom the team acquired via trade from Denver in August 2008.

Holland is a native of Ore, Texas, where he grew up a Cowboys' fan.

"Very excited," Holland said of being the starter. "Me and my family have said this has been a dream come true for me to play for the Cowboys and I finally got my opportunity."

It was an interesting offseason for Holland because there was even some uncertainty about him. The Cowboys drafted guard David Arkin and with Kosier's uncertain status because he was a free agent, Holland wasn't sure if he would be around.

"I didn't know what to think," Holland said. "I kinda waited around to see where I was going to fall and where everybody was going to fall and when they decided to keep me around, I just wanted to do my best for them."

In training camp practices, Holland has been with a makeshift version of a first-team offensive line with some young players. Once Doug Free, Andre Gurode and Kosier are allowed to practice, fans who attend training camp practices will begin to see the 2011 starting lineup.

Of the projected starters for the offensive line only first-round pick Tyron Smith and Holland are working with the first-team in practice.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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