Big Decision: Who does Jason Garrett start at center?

November, 18, 2012
11/18/12
9:30
AM ET
IRVING - Jason Garrett’s toughest decision this week revolves around centers Mackenzie Bernadeau and Ryan Cook.

Cook has a sore knee and hasn’t practiced all week, while Bernadeau has never played a single snap as a center in the National Football League.

Even against a raggedy team such as the Cleveland Browns, the best way to get upset is to have turnovers as the result of shotgun snaps gone awry or botched exchanges between the center and quarterback.

So Garrett must decide whether it’s better to use Bernadeau, who has been practicing at center for the past few weeks and worked with the first team this week. Although he has improved considerably since the start of the season, Bernadeau has struggled at times this season at his natural position of right guard.

But is that better than using Cook, who’s missed practice all week?

If there’s any way for Cook to play, then Garrett should go with the center who’s been playing much of the season. At least then, he won’t have to worry about getting the ball to Romo.

Besides, if Bernadeau is at center then it means Derrick Dockery is starting at right guard. No coach wants to change 40 percent of his offensive line -- even against a bad team.

None of Garrett’s options are good, but at least Cook has experience at the position. Bernadeau does not.
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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