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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Are recent moves Jerry Jones' handiwork?

By Calvin Watkins



IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys have made some interesting lineup changes in the last few days.

On Wednesday, the team worked starting right tackle Doug Free at right guard and moved right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau to left guard. Jermey Parnell moved from second-team right tackle to the first team.

In the third preseason game, fifth-round running back Joseph Randle played the entire second half over Phillip Tanner, and quarterback Alex Tanney played the second half over Nick Stephens. Demetress Bell played at right tackle in the second half of the Arizona game over Parnell.

Are the following changes coming from the general manager, Jerry Jones, or from the head coach, Jason Garrett?

Garrett was asked whether the front office decided to play Randle ahead of Tanner for the third preseason game.

"Collective decision," Garrett responded Monday. "We wanted to see Joseph Randle and we wanted to hand Joseph Randle the ball and see what he’s been doing. Phillip has done a really nice job for us both on offense and on (special) teams. We've seen him the last couple of years and we wanted to give the young guy a chance to play. Phillip always responds the right way to the stuff he’s been in."

Tanner said he's a "company guy" and isn't concerned about Randle getting more snaps than him in preseason games. In the big picture, the Cowboys will probably keep four running backs, but Tanner will become mainly a special-teams guy.

As for the quarterbacks, Garrett said that because Tanney was signed after the offseason workouts, the Cowboys wanted to see him get an entire half of action.

Jones said the Cowboys needed to play Bell after he missed three weeks of training camp practices. Garrett said Bell missed practices because he was overweight.

The moves Wednesday could be, as Garrett said, "collective," because the team is concerned that injured left guards Nate Livings and Ronald Leary might miss the regular-season opener. If the Cowboys release Livings, the team takes a $2.4 million salary-cap hit.

After getting rebuffed by Brandon Moore and reaching a dead end with Brian Waters, the Cowboys' quest for veteran interior O-line help has been halted. It seems the Cowboys are going to stick with this current group and will shuffle some personnel. Is Jones or Garrett making this decision ?

The GM has the right to decide who plays on the field during the preseason and in some cases the regular season. Garrett and Jones are believed to be on the same page regarding this; it's just interesting to note the moves and who could be directing them.