Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Monday, January 28, 2013
Cowboys free agents: Phil Costa

By Todd Archer

Phil Costa
Phil Costa isn't the most talented player in the world, but his versatility is a plus.

Phil Costa


Position: Center

Type: Restricted

Summary: Costa won the job by default in training camp because of injuries to Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski, then suffered a back injury that kept him out for most of the preseason games. He played in the first series of the season opener at the New York Giants before his back flared up and ended his night. He missed the next three games before returning against Baltimore -- which happned to be the Cowboys' best running game of the season -- only to suffer a partially dislocated ankle the next week that ultimately led to him landing on injured reserve. In total, Costa played about six quarters of football in 2012.

Why keep him: The coaches like his smarts and his ability to fight and the offense went pretty well in his limited action. He can also play guard, and you can't overlook that versatility with gameday roster spots so precious.

Why let him go: In order to keep him, the Cowboys would have to tender him a deal worth $1.323 million or agree to a lower deal. He will never be a dominating player and will get pushed back more than you would like.

Best guess: The Cowboys will keep Costa and let him battle it out in camp with Ryan Cook and possibly Mackenzy Bernadeau or a high rookie draft pick. Again, the coaches like him and know they can count on him to do the right things, even if he is not the most gifted player.

Follow the rest of the series here.