Cowboys deal with offensive line changes

August, 25, 2013
8/25/13
12:34
AM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas -- There were first-team offensive line switches from the Cowboys on Saturday night in a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Doug Free moved to right guard, Mackenzy Bernadeau played left guard and Jermey Parnell started at right tackle.

Quarterback Tony Romo was sacked twice, though one was a coverage sack and another defender came through the line untouched. Overall the running attack behind DeMarco Murray and Phillip Tanner combined for 90 yards between them behind the first-team line which played for a little more than three quarters.

Romo completed 13 of 18 passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns in five first-half possessions.

"A lot of stuff to look at," said Free who declined further comment regarding the offensive line play.

"We won't know until we look at the tape, but he's been doing a really good job there and he's really a smart player," Romo said of Free. "Not everybody can make an adjustment like that, especially not in really one week. I think it's a testament to Doug's ability to play both those positions (right tackle and right guard). Not unlike what I said about the wide receivers, the flexibility that gives us sometimes, is really, really a big deal to have a guy who can do multiple positions."

Injuries and ineffective play have forced the Cowboys to juggle the offensive line this summer. The team was rebuffed by veteran guard Brandon Moore on a one-year deal. Moore decided to retire. Another veteran guard, Brian Waters hasn't accepted a contract from the Cowboys and it appears that deal is dead.

So the Cowboys are staying with their current group of linemen despite several injuries.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he's expecting injured left guard Ronald Leary to return from his knee surgery soon. The Cowboys don't feel as confident about injured guard Nate Livings, who is still recovering from knee surgery.

"It is an area where you just got to have numbers and with everybody managing (their own lines), it's hard to have the five best," Jones said.
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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