Cowboys owner Jerry Jones knew it was risky to go with three rookie offensive linemen in the “dress rehearsal” third preseason game Saturday night.
But he understood the reasons behind it – not only that the Cowboys are trying to figure out what to do with veteran Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode, but also that head coach Jason Garrett is holding players accountable for their performance. No matter their resume.
Saturday night, the Cowboys held Gurode out and used rookie Kevin Kowalski at center for the whole game.
“Jason Garrett is doing an outstanding job of looking, evaluating, putting the emphasis on ‘I’m evaluating on not what you’ve been rewarded, not what your Pro Bowls are, but how are you playing right now?’ And it’s working. I think that’s what you’re seeing in the offensive line. But it’s all over the team.”
One of Garrett’s favorite lines in training camp was to say the Cowboys are trying to create competition all over the team. And that they will keep creating it throughout the season.
It sounds as if it has impressed Jones.
“He’s a young coach. He can cut and shoot,” Jones said. “We play guys that have a chance to get some time, and in this particular case, how valuable can it be for Kowalski to come up here and take all the snaps at center against the Minnesota Vikings – mostly their firsts? Tremendous experience.”
-- Carlos Mendez