David Arkin looks like another mid-round O-line bust

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
8:59
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – It isn’t clear yet whether the Cowboys’ trade for Ryan Cook means that David Arkin will be cut.

But it does appear that Arkin, a fourth-round pick who was inactive for every game as a rookie, will be added to the list of Cowboys mid-round offensive line busts.

Drafting and developing offensive linemen has been an issue for the Cowboys for well over a decade. Just since Jason Garrett’s return to Valley Ranch in 2007, the Cowboys have cut a couple of third-round tackles (James Marten and Robert Brewster) during their second season.

Tackle Doug Free, who played well enough to earn a four-year, $32 million contract, is the one notable exception to the Cowboys’ trend of mid-round misses on offensive linemen. Perhaps Arkin could follow a similar path as Free, a fourth-round pick who was active for only one game his first two seasons.

It’s just hard to envision the Cowboys relying on Arkin after this preseason, when he averaged about a penalty per quarter.

It isn’t really fair to hold Arkin’s struggles snapping the ball against him. He had never played center until the first week of training camp, when he was the emergency solution after a rash of injuries at the position.

If only snaps were Arkin’s biggest problem ...

The primary concern about Arkin is still his lack of power. That was painfully apparent on back-to-back plays in the second half of the preseason finale against the Miami Dolphins.

Playing right guard, Arkin just got plain whipped by two different Dolphins defensive linemen fighting for roster spots. Undrafted rookie Isaako Aaitui got under Arkin’s pads, pushed him back five yards and planted him flat on his back at the feet of the quarterback on the first play. Seventh-round pick Kheeston Randall beat Arkin for a sack the next snap.

The Cowboys were going to be looking for interior offensive line help anyway. Those plays simply illustrated why, and how far away Arkin is from being able to help the Cowboys.

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