Okay lets me say this. Costa looked really good the other night. In fact, there are many people that are saying he should start over Gurode. Frankly, while I like the fact that Costa is more similar to the rest of the Cowboys line, assuming that Arkin takes the G position from Holland, I am not so sure that is what Garrett wants. Now, as I have stated before, I do not know Garrett personally, so I have no first hand knowledge as to how he wants his O-line to function. I can make an educated guess based on what I see. So with that in mind let's explore this dynamic that is Gurode and Costa. Follow me past the jump.
Now let's look at what Gurode brings to the table ( bear in mind these are Rookie numbers):
40 Yrd Dash: 5.34
20 Yrd Dash: 3.14
10 Yrd Dash: 1.89
225 Lb. Bench Reps:
Vertical Jump: 30 1/2
Broad Jump: 08'04"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 5.05
3-Cone Drill: 8.15
As you can see Gurode seems to not be the type of player that Garrett wants....
- He is not 316 any more...According to NFL.com he weighs in at a svelte 334 lbs currently.
- Mobile? Nope, even at 316 Gurode put up fairly bad #'s in the 20yd shuttle and 3-cone drill.
- Powerful? Well we don't have current numbers But the consensus is that Gurode is one of the strongest players on the team...
- Smart? Well considering that Koiser has to make the line calls (at least that is the popular theory) Gurode may not be the sharpest tool in the shed..."Ya know what I mean Vern?"
So lets look at Costa...
40 Yrd Dash: 5.12
20 Yrd Dash: 3.09
10 Yrd Dash: 1.60
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 30
Vertical Jump: 35
Broad Jump: 09'04"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.65
3-Cone Drill: 7.66
Now, the reason Costa went undrafted is due to his short arms. At "only" 6-2 he is "undersized" height wise, and does not have the long arms that most GM's and coaches look for.
However, a couple of things stand out.
- Costa is still fairly strong, posting a solid 30 reps on the 225 bench, though that is considered fairly poor due again to his arm length, though I imagine that that has been increased. (NFL.com lists him @ 311lbs)
- Costa is VERY quick and mobile...a 4.65 20yd Shuttle combined with a 7.66 3-cone is very good.
- Costa is also fairly explosive..posting a 35" vert and 9' + broad jump.
- Garret has raved many times about how smart Costa is
So what does all this mean? Well, on paper it would seem that Costa has the edge against Gurode in the battle for the center spot. Yet why wasn't Gurode cut? I mean if Gurode really was that bad, then how come he is still on the roster? And taking the first team reps now that he is practicing with the team? Blue Eyed Devil made the quote I think sums up the issue perfectly:
When you look at what Costa did well in the pre-season game it was double-teaming his man for 1.5 seconds then getting to a linebacker. He did very well at that.
Now I am not saying that this is a bad thing. However, here is what I am thinking...That is what Garrett wants his guards to do, not his center. I think that he wants his center to be the "power man" of the line. The guy that may not be super mobile but able to take on the biggest DT's/NT's in the game one-on-one, and either stonewall them or move them. Which Gurode does very well. And with the rise in popularity of the 3-4 defense, having a center that can take on a 330-350lbs NT one-on-one could be crucial to Garrett's run game. Now, like I said before, this is only an educated guess. I think we will find out either next draft or the 2013 draft (Dallas will more than likely be needing to draft a center by then if only to replace either Costa or Gurode).
As always I welcome comments and critiques...Feel free to share your thoughts......