After saying goodbye to several offseason toys (reportedly), Bill Callahan gets a new lump of clay to work with.
While everyone is waiting to see if the Cowboys can actually fleece some sort of compensation from an NFL team for QB Stephen McGee, the Dallas brass was making other maneuvers. Late Thursday evening, it appears that the club has reached an agreement to bring in veteran interior lineman Ryan Cook to add some depth behind starter Phil Costa.
Cook is a 2006 second round pick of the Minnesota Vikings. While he has started 40 games in his career, only seven have come in the last three seasons and none last year. He spent 2011 in Miami as a backup and appeared in three contests.
His last full year as a starter was 2008, when he played 16 of 17 games for the Vikings. His Pro Football Focus cumulative grade for that season was -9.7 while allowing seven sacks. His 2011 pass blocking efficiency rating would be an astounding 100%... except he only was on the field for one pass blocking play.
Fox Sports Southwest's Bob Sturm was the first to jump on the information.
Word on street is that the Cowboys have traded for OL help. Ryan Cook of Vikings/Dolphins is in. Center/Guard/ and lil Tackle. 7th rd back.— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) August 31, 2012
Cook is a towering figure, standing 6'6"-6'7" and weighing 328 lbs. Sturm reports that the Cowboys gave up a seventh round pick to ensure they would get the soon-to-be-released lineman.
Follow the jump for an examination of Cook from last night's performance against our Cowboys backup linemen.
Cook started the final six games of the 2010 season for the Vikings. Continuing his career trend of up and down performance; per PFF. He gave up 3 sacks, 1 hit and 10 QB pressures. Interestingly, he also played a handful of snaps as a tackle-eligible. Maybe the Cowboys are going to bring some trickery into their playcalling. Maybe not.
The Cowboys got a good, up close look at him last night in the preseason finale against the Dolphins last night. Of course, a short snap shot is by no means a final evaluation.
Cook entered the game at center after the Teddy Williams return fumble. On his first play the Dolphins line blocked down and Robert Callaway was able to disengage from Cook and make the tackle on the back for a gain of four. Later on third down he did a good job stoning Ben Bass on a play when Victor Butler got a sack.
Two drives later he returned to the game and began by getting great push on a Steve Slaton 12 yard run. Good push on the next running play as well. Later on a third down he got pushed back into the pocket along with the LG and forcing Matt Moore to hurry a throw.
Cook started the second half at center , snapping to former Cowboy Matt Moore. That was him getting beat by a Rob Callaway swim move that flushed Moore out the pocket one play before Tyrone Crawford recorded his sack. That was his only series of the third quarter.
He would return later in the game at right guard. There were a few plays where he did his job in both the run and the passing game, and a couple where he ended up on the turf. At the 5 minute mark, the Dolphins got the ball back. On all three plays of a three and out, Cook's man was able to generate pressure with a punch and a swim and hurry the quarterback. On each play, engage/punch, swim.
In my non-expert opinion, he looks better in the run game than in pass protection. He appears better than Dockery for sure. After seeing a couple dismal plays last night (without doing a spotlight review) of Arkin, he is at least comparable. Finally, Bill Callahan's first teaching session with the seven-year vet will probably be defending the swim move.