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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Sparano: Marc Colombo 'tremendous asset'

By Tim MacMahon

IRVING, Texas – Marc Colombo wasn’t unemployed for long before an old friend extended a job offer.

Ex-Dallas offensive line coach Tony Sparano’s Dolphins signed Colombo days after the Cowboys cut him. It’s a move that has generated criticism from the Miami media, as some of Colombo’s struggles from last season continued, but Sparano has no regrets about making the veteran the Dolphins’ starting right tackle.

“Marc is a tough, smart guy, has great leadership qualities,” Sparano said on a conference call with the Valley Ranch media. “I think anybody in that building would tell you that. I’ve had the opportunity to coach him. I know his strengths. I certainly know the limitations, those type of things. All the other things far outweigh any of that and he’s been a tremendous, tremendous asset to our football team and to that group.”

Colombo, who battled back from a devastating knee injury to become a solid starter in Dallas, is immensely respected throughout the Cowboys’ franchise. However, the Cowboys felt the upgraded at right tackle the moment they used the ninth overall pick on Tyron Smith.

Colombo’s lack of athleticism, an issue that was injury related, was a problem as he allowed 9.5 sacks and committed eight penalties in his final season with the Cowboys. He has improved in those areas this season -- allowing five sacks and committing only one penalty so far -- but count on the Cowboys attempting to expose his limitations Thursday afternoon.