Why not Jamaal Jackson for the Cowboys?

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
11:55
AM ET
I was online last night, chatting with some folks on Twitter, and a concerned Dallas Cowboys fan asked me why they wouldn't look at former Philadelphia Eagles center Jamaal Jackson. I replied that I'd been under the impression that Jackson was done, a conclusion I'd based on the fact that he was on the Giants briefly this spring and that Giants coach Tom Coughlin said when they cut ties that Jackson was planning to retire.

Turns out, Coughlin doesn't speak for Jackson (@CenterStage67), who tweeted back a short time later to correct me and educate the folks to whom I was talking:
"Not retired I'm ready, teams have called I'm hopeful I'll be signed soon!"

So there you have it. Jackson, who was supplanted as the Eagles starter last year in training camp by rookie Jason Kelce, is hoping to play in 2012. The Cowboys have a serious need at center. Even if you buy Phil Costa as the starter (and you know I don't), they have nothing behind him. They continue to insist that guard Mackenzy Bernadeau has played it, but I can't find anything on his NFL record to indicate that he's done so as a pro. Besides, Bernadeau has been injured and only started practicing Tuesday. Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski, second-year men the Cowboys had hoped could serve as fill-ins or competition for Costa, are on the shelf for a while. David Arkin, who's never played it before, was a mess in practice Tuesday on the center-quarterback exchange and got pulled from the role.

Jackson is 32, and as of this time last year (before we knew they were willing to go with a rookie), it appears as though he'd be the starting center for the Eagles. He missed 15 games in 2010 with an arm injury, and so he hasn't seen any significant action since 2009. That makes one wonder what he has left. But at this point, it's hard to see how it wouldn't be worth the Cowboys' time to at least give it a look, right?

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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