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September 05, 2011

Costa sits Monday but will practice on Wednesday as Cowboys' starting center

Center Phil Costa sat out Monday but said he’ll practice on Wednesday and hopes to be ready to play on Sunday in the season opener against the New York Jets.

It will be the second NFL start for the second-year player, but his first at center. He’s preparing to be a leader for an offensive line that will include a rookie at left guard (Bill Nagy) and another at right tackle (Tyron Smith).

“We’re going to have to be together,” he said. “It’s going to be loud up there. We’re going to have to be on one page. Hopefully, getting back in practice, working with these guys, I think we’ll feel pretty comfortable. I think it will develop even better throughout the season.”

Costa, who made one start at guard last year for the Cowboys, missed last week with a knee sprain. But it was clear he won the starting center job when the Cowboys cut 10-year veteran Andre Gurode a week ago.

“Nobody wants to be a second guy,” he said. “You don’t come into camp to be a backup. You know, Andre, he’s a great guy. He did a lot helping me out. He’s a great veteran guy to learn from. I got to be with him for a year here. I learned a lot from him. I’m just happy I have this opportunity.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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