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August 27, 2013

Cowboys offensive line remains a work in progress as Stephen Jones says his comfort level with the OL "is getting there"

The Cowboys have started four different offensive line combinations in four games. They have had three different left guards, four different right guards and two different right tackles. Only left tackle Tyron Smith and rookie center Travis Frederick started every game at the same position.

Because of injuries, the Cowboys still don't know their starting lineup for the season opener.

"We haven’t made any definitive decisions on who’s playing where and who’s starting where," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday. "We’ll do that over the next few days and in practice next week. Health is a factor, certainly. But all those guys are in the mix and we’ll try to have some good discussions and good evaluations over the next few days and try to come up with the best …”

The Cowboys liked what they saw of Doug Free at right guard and Jermey Parnell at right tackle in Saturday's game against the Bengals. It was the first time Free had ever played right guard after making the switch from right tackle last week during practice.

The Cowboys remain confident that Ron Leary can return for the season opener after undergoing right knee surgery Aug. 16, but if he doesn't, Free could me making his first career start at guard and Parnell only his second career start ever.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said his comfort level with his offensive line is "getting there." 

"It’s obviously something that we just started experimenting with last week, so to say you’re just totally comfortable with it, I don’t think anybody realistically would say that," Jones said. "You also have to say, ‘Well, what are the alternatives? Are you more comfortable with this lineup, that lineup or this lineup?’ That’s something obviously Bill [Callahan] and Jason and Frank [Pollack] are really going over in their mind: What gives us the best chance to rush the ball successfully and protect Tony [Romo] against the Giants?"

-- Charean Williams

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