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September 04, 2013

Cowboys ready to see Leary 'in the next environment,' Garrett says

Coach Jason Garrett says the Cowboys are ready to give Ron Leary a chance “in the next environment.”

Leary, an undrafted free agent a year ago, is on track to start at left guard for the Cowboys in the season opener. Not only will it be his first start, it will be his first regular-season game.

“We’re optimistic. He’s certainly a young player. I understand the nature of the question,” Garrett said Wednesday, asked if there aren’t concerns about Leary’s inexperience and health. “But we feel good about it. You have to be willing to put some young players out there.”

Leary won the job at left guard in camp in the absence of Nate Livings, who had knee surgery. But even before Livings had surgery, Leary was gaining on the veteran until Leary had his own knee surgery in the last week of camp. Leary returned to practice on Monday, working in individual drills.

But even with Leary’s limited work lately, the Cowboys are ready to sail with him on Sunday.

“Everybody can’t be a 10-year vet who’s been to five Pro Bowls. It’s not how this league works,” Garrett said. “So you try to give guys chances, and typically if they’ve shown that they can do it in certain environments and you put them in the next environment, typically they’ll step up and do a good job for you.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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