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August 04, 2013

All signs point to Leary winding up as Cowboys' starting left guard

The Cowboys look like they are ready for Ron Leary to be their starting left guard.

All the ingredients are coming together.

He played every snap in the preseason opener Sunday night. The starter, Nate Livings, is hurt. There is no better option.

“I don’t want to be the coach, but I’m comfortable,” owner Jerry Jones said. “He has a substance. It’s not just his size, but his punch. He has a base in the middle. You put that with Frederick in there, and that changes things up for us from what we had.”

There is no doubt Jones likes Leary. Two years ago, after the draft, he was the highest priority free agent for the Cowboys, and they gave him their top signing bonus for a undrafted player that year.

There is another reason the Cowboys don’t want to sit on Leary longer than they have to. He has a degenerative knee condition that could shorten his career, although that is not a certainty.

Sunday night, Leary backed up the Cowboys’ thinking. He was a big part of a goal-line rushing attack that led to Phillip Tanner’s 1-yard touchdown run, and he and center Travis Frederick helped the Cowboys produce a rushing attack that gained 170 yards.

“Leary and Travis, specifically, we really had our eyes on those guys,” Jones said. “We saw them do some good things. It’s going to give them some confidence.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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