The Cowboys wanted to get David Arkin some experience this year, if nothing else.
It looks like they’ll get a good start on that tonight in the preseason opener against Oakland.
Starting center Phil Costa is unlikely to play because of a back injury, so it leaves most of the snapping against the Raiders to Arkin and his backup, Harland Gunn.
“He needs to take snaps,” coach Jason Garrett said of Arkin. “He’s grown a lot of the course of this training camp, and that’s a good thing for him and a good thing for us.”
Arkin was the right guard for the first unit until Mackenzy Bernadeau started practicing. Arkin moved to left guard when Bernadeau returned.
Arkin was already working as the second team center as the Cowboys tried to train him there in the absence of potential backups Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski, both also injured.
“He certainly has many, many more, when you look at the cumulative total for training camp,” Garrett said of Arkin’s snaps. “It almost looks like a mistake. But again, that’s a good thing.
“We talked about what his plan was when we drafted him, a guy that we really liked in a lot of different ways, physically and mentally, played with tenacity, had the size to play the interior positions both at center and guard. We liked all that about him. What we didn’t like about him was his inexperience.”
Beyond Arkin and Gunn, guard Pat McQuistan is also available to play center tonight.
The Cowboys will try to get Bernadeau some work at center before training camp is over, also.
-- Carlos Mendez