IRVING, Texas - Don't bother listening to the spin coming from Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett or team vice president Stephen Jones - the offensive line is a sports tragedy waiting to happen. And they all know it.
Garrett tried to downplay the not so surprising revelation that starting right tackle Doug Free was working at guard on Wednesday. No big deal, says the coach. Only Free, according to Stephen Jones, is likely to see action at a position he has never played, including high school, when the Cowboys play the Bengals on Saturday night.
The Cowboys have tried, and failed, to sign veteran Brandon Moore and Brian Waters since the start of training camp because they obviously do not like their current options at guard.
Garrett said that Free is "long" and that this type of workout adds versatility; it's a load. Free's biggest problem is one of strength, which is what guard play is all about. He is a good athlete with decent feet, but he often was pushed back by opposing defensive ends last season.
Now they are going to look at him at guard because they do not like David Arkin, Kevin Kowalski or Nate Livings. And they are obviously fearful that Ronald Leary, who is scheduled to start, is not going to be fully recovered from his knee scope performed a few weeks ago. Remember - Leary is an undrafted free agent last season who has never started an NFL game. And one of the biggest reasons he was undrafted out of Memphis in '11 was knee issues.
Ideally, this is what their line will look like on the season opener:
LT: Tyron Smith
LG: Ron Leary
C: Travis Frederick
RG: Mackenzy Bernadeau
RT: Doug Free
Godspeed, Tony Romo.
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