The hit that quarterback Tony Romo took from Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly in Monday’s preseason game happened because of miscommunication.
Center David Arkin came off to help left guard David Dockery, and Kelly came up the middle untouched to put a big hit on Romo as he got the ball away to tight end Jason Witten, who also took a big hit.
“That happens,” right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau said. “You wish it doesn’t, but it does. And sometimes players get beat.”
Arkin said, 'It was just a missed communication thing on the line.'
That is one of the primary concerns for the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones, who has said it is important to him for Romo to feel comfortable with the middle of the line.
But the Cowboys right now are missing center Phil Costa (back) and left guard Nate Livings (hamstring). The line they envisioned has not practiced together yet.
“The great lines always are in synch and have players that have been in there a while,” Bernadeau said. “But when you’ve got guys filling in, you’ve got to synch with them. Getting used to Doug is a big issue I have to get used to. But that’s what practice is for. That’s what I’m going to get going on.”
Arkin played most of the game at center, and while the Cowboys struggled in run blocking and in moving for screens, at least there were no bad center exchanges. Arkin came out of it with mostly positive reviews.
“He did real good. He did a great job,” rookie right guard Ronald Leary said. “He did his job. I talked to him for a minute. He was ready. I could tell early on he was ready to play a good game, and he did.”
-- Carlos Mendez