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Ronald Leary leads battle at left guard

8/19/2014

IRVING, Texas -- The competition at left guard continues, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett insists.

"Ultimately we're going to look at the tape and say, 'This guy is better than that guy,'" Garrett said. "The best guy deserves the first shot."

All signs point to incumbent starter Ronald Leary being that guy and winning the job over Mackenzy Bernadeau, who started 11 games at right guard last season and is also the backup center.

Leary started Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens and played every snap with the starting offensive line. He also took the vast majority of the first-team reps during the pair of joint practices against the Oakland Raiders last week.

It was a strong hint that Leary was the favorite to win the battle when he worked with the starters during his second full-contact practice during training camp after missing almost two weeks while recovering from a strained hamstring suffered during the player-organized, pre-camp conditioning run.

The Cowboys coaches have been mostly pleased with Leary's performance since then.

"He's getting better and better," Garrett said. "He's a little bit behind because he wasn't involved in the early part of training camp, but he's a good, strong player. His experience from last year has helped him and he's become more and more decisive as a player. He needs to continue to get his feet up underneath him and catch up on his reps a little bit and we'll give him plenty of chances to do that."