Ronald Leary's return comes at a good time

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
3:26
PM ET
OXNARD, Calif. -- Cowboys guard Ronald Leary returned to the practice fields Monday after missing the majority of last week because of a calf injury.

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Leary's return comes at a good time for a Cowboys offensive line that is trying to get healthy as it prepares for the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Nate Livings returned to practice last week and has struggled at times. Leary was getting first-team snaps when Livings was out with his injury, but Livings' return has pushed him to the third team, at least for now.

The Cowboys have high hopes for the undrafted free agent from Memphis because of his size (6-foot-3, 331 pounds), and there's hope that the quickness he displayed in college can translate to the NFL.

"Ron's issue is he just has to get healthy," coach Jason Garrett said of Leary, who has dealt with a calf injury. "Ron had a really good spring and he was in really good shape leading up to training camp and just a couple of, three days beforehand, he kinda tweaked his calf and he's been out, and you just don't want to rush a guy back because it
"It's still early. We've got the extra preseason game, all of those things, a lot of reps and a lot of football to be played here in the next month. Got to get him healthy ... he's making progress and we'll mix him in there. We'll see how he does."

There is a jam in the interior of the line between projected starters Mackenzy Bernadeau and Livings and backups Kevin Kowalski and David Arkin.

It's a competition all across the board," Leary said. "Right now I’m just focusing on catching up to the pace that everybody else is already on. I had a real good offseason. I dropped some weight, got quicker and got stronger. That year under my bet helped me out with the mental side of the game. The biggest thing was getting this calf right, and I’m ready to go."
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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