Monday, August 15, 2011
Cowboys offensive line still in flux
By Dan Graziano
Offensive line was the position of greatest need for the Cowboys in this year's draft. They used three of their eight picks on offensive linemen, and all three have been factors so far in training camp. The latest is seventh-rounder Bill Nagy, who took some snaps at left guard with the first-team offense Monday. With Leonard Davis cut, Montrae Holland hurt and Kyle Kosier having moved from left guard to right guard so he could work more closely with rookie right tackle Tyron Smith, left guard is an open position, and the Cowboys are mulling several different options.
"I think we're just continuing to work the different combinations on the offensive line and the guard position is one of them," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in his news conference Monday. "Montrae has been out, so David Arkin played a lot of it the other day. Nagy has done a really nice job for us with the opportunities he's gotten both at guard and center, so he'll take some snaps. We'll just kind of keep working the different combinations and see what feels right."
Lots of moving parts here still. As Todd Archer points out in the link above, Jerry Jones has hinted that Phil Costa, who's been playing center with starting center Andre Gurode out, could be a candidate for left guard. Todd also suggests that Gurode could move to guard (with Costa, presumably, playing center). This has become a major issue to watch as Cowboys camp and the preseason roll along, and Garrett says he's perfectly fine mixing and matching for now if the end result is that they find their best five in time for the season to start.
"I think you'd rather have your starting five guys established, but oftentimes, when you have injuries or young guys or new guys, it becomes a little bit of a work in progress," Garrett said. "We feel like we have some options to look at. You'd rather have the starting five guys that have been playing together for eight years, but that's not really the case in the NFL, so you adjust accordingly."
Playing the numbers and hoping someone steps up to make the decisions easy for them. This is where the Cowboys appear to be with their offensive line. The reviews on Arkin last week were good. Guess they want to see if Nagy can be even better.