Kyle Kosier to be released

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
9:12
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Having signed Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings to free agent contracts in free agency, the Cowboys have decided to part ways with Kyle Kosier, according to a league source.

The move has not been made officially yet. Kosier had started 80 straight games in which he was active since joining the Cowboys as a free agent in 2006. He signed a three-year deal last summer after the lockout ended and started every game.

[+] EnlargeKyle Kosier
Howard Smith/US PresswireKyle Kosier joined the Cowboys in 2006 and started every game last season.
The move would save the Cowboys $1.55 million in salary cap space and continue the overhaul of the offensive line. Right tackle Doug Free is now the longest-tenured offensive linemen having joined the team in 2007. The second-longest tenured is center Phil Costa, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2010.

Kosier earned a $1 million escalator that would have jumped his base salary in 2012 to $2.25 million. In the last two seasons the Cowboys have parted ways with Andre Gurode, Marc Colombo and Leonard Davis, mainstays on the lines for years.

With Bernadeau and Livings, the Cowboys could have at least two new starters on the line with Free and Tyron Smith flopping sides. Costa started every game at center in 2011, but the team could look to the draft or free agency at that spot as well.

Bernadeau signed a four-year deal worth $11 million and Livings signed a five-year deal worth $19 million in the first three days of free agency. Bernadeau started 20 games in four years with Carolina, and Livings started 47 in Cincinnati.

Kosier, 33, joined the Cowboys in 2006 after spending his first four seasons in San Francisco (three) and Detroit (one), taking over for Ring of Honor member Larry Allen and proving to be one of the team’s best signings. He did not miss a game in his two seasons but suffered a serious foot injury in 2008 that cost him 13 games. He missed three games with a knee injury in 2010 but did not miss a start in 2011. He was limited in practice for most of the year with plantar fasciitis and suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in the season finale vs. the New York Giants.

In the last four days, the Cowboys have said goodbye to veterans Terence Newman and Kosier, while also signing Dan Connor to effectively replace free-agent linebacker Bradie James, who had been a starter since 2005.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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