In his first five years in the NFL, Montrae Holland started 48 games. In his sixth year, he was traded from Denver to Dallas. In his seventh year, he was a forgotten man.
Holland was inactive for each of the Cowboys’ 16 games in 2009 and it was an experience he’d rather forget.
“It wasn’t fun,” the 6-2, 326-pound offensive guard said. “I felt like I could help the team in whatever way necessary. Last year just wasn’t that year.
“It was pretty hard [to be patient], but it’s part of the game. This game teaches you how to be patient and teaches you so many life lessons. So you’ve just got to do it to be part of the team.”
Because of two injuries to left guard Kyle Kosier, Holland has advanced to the starting lineup. Kosier missed the first game of the season with a knee injury, returned to the lineup and played against the Bears, but went out with another knee injury in the game against Houston.
Holland filled in after Kosier left the game early in the fourth quarter Sunday and was on the field in pass protection when Tony Romo hit Roy Williams with a 63-yard TD pass. The Cowboys hope Kosier is ready after the bye week, but if he is not, Holland will start again.
“I just try to be as prepared as I can,” Holland said. “You never know when or if you’re going to play, so when I do, I just think it’s my opportunity to make the best of it.”
-- Jan Hubbard