FanPost

Post-camp OL update

Now that the final cuts have been made, pending whatever happens until the first game roster of the season, it seems a good time to update the OL. The last update was

http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2013/7/30/4571328/what-to-do-with-the-ol-first-week-of-tc-edition

I started with an update for all the previous articles on the OL

1. Dockery is gone - check
2. What to do with Free - cheaper and playing better
3. Will Costa and/or Kowalski be healthy - looks like both are better
4. How healthy is Bernie - ?
5. I suspect that one or both of Arkin and Leary do not make the team - needs updating
6. Parnell, Weems and all the other place holders - we need to look at backup tackles
7. Presume Smith, Frederick and Cook are safe - Cook not so much

And reiterated some questions that needed to be asked. It is still early in training camp so lets recap the questions that I laid out before

Questions that all inter-relate

Question 1 – are the players healthy? If not they could be cut/IR/PUP.

Question 2 - how much dead money to eat with the FA guards Livngs and Bernie. Livings is past his prime and is Bernie more of a young guy to develop like Costa/Kowalksi/Arkin/Leary or a transition guy like Livings.

Question 3 - how much dead money to eat on Free. I think we have one more year because of his salary cap hit. Yet we will find out sooner than later.

Question 4 - if we keep Costa and/or Kowalski, then do we need the 30 year old Cook, who is the second oldest behind Livings.

The final cuts provide us with some answers.

Some of the players are NOT healthy right now.

The pending move of Free to guard is evidence of that. Free took a pay cut in exchange for more guaranteed money this year and an option to guarantee next year’s money. As the senior member of the OL, Free has taken over the leadership role from Kosier. It is notable that he did not make any comments about his salary situation this year.

He has further shown the RKG attitude by working out at guard. This is not his natural position, but the team is doing all it can to get the best five guys on the field, pending resolution of injuries.

Leary and Livings were fighting injuries and had surgeries on their knees. Kowalksi and Bernie were fighting injuries all off-season.

Leary might be ready for the season opener. He and Arkin were the primary young guys to develop. Leary has stepped up and will start when healthy. Arkin has improved enough to be a quality backup this year.

I had thought that Livings was the key to the OL decision making process. We finally placed Livings on IR for the season as one of the last acts of the off-season. We had signed him to a relatively cheap contract to give time to develop the young guys and they have.

We could cut Livings after two years with little cap hit. The decision to put him on IR means that we will make the cut next year and not eat the dead money this year. He was the most consistent interior OL guy we had last year. Yet he is this year’s Holland.

We cut Holland the last week of the off-season. Yet we waited until the last moment to give us as much time as possible to evaluate the young guys. We eventually brought him back to be our most consistent interior OL last year. Yet everyone should say he came back a lot more healthy and motivated than when we cut him.

Just like Garrett’s first year as HC, the final decision on the OL took to the last days of the off-season. That year we used three draft picks and signed Kowalksi as a UDFA. Kowalksi’s play at center forced a cascade effect as we decided that we could not keep three centers. We asked Gurode to take a pay cut, and when he refused, he was cut.

Like Livings, Bernie was signed as a FA. Yet unlike Livings who was only a guard, Bernie could play center if we needed him. Unfortunately, we had to find that out last year as we used him as our emergency 4th string center after Cook was injured.

Bernie is also much younger than Livings, who is our oldest OL on the roster. As such, he is still developing himself. We also restructured his contract this year unlike Livings.

Among the last cuts this year was Kowalksi. He was our primary backup center last year, but was placed on PUP. We traded for Cook to replace him last year. Kowalksi was never really healthy last year even when we activated him. Not surprisingly we waited until we activated him to put Costa on IR just to have a warm body on the roster.

This year, K was again injured and never really got on tract at guard. Though he was our quickest and most mobile, he was not as strong as some other options and was lower on the roster depth. In a numbers game, he was the odd man out.

We placed Cook on IR. We could not cut him while he was injured. Yet he had moved down the roster as we added Frederick at center. Cook is the second oldest OL on the roster and we will punt the decision on him just like Livings.

Backup tackle was an interesting battle all camp.

We signed Weems to the roster when we put Costa on IR last year. This was a way to better distribute the positions as we only had three tackles on the roster at the time – Free, Smith, and Parnell. He was another younger version of Parnell as a developmental project.

Not much was known about Weems other than that. So we brought several other candidates into camp for competition. Coughman showed the RKG attitude who practiced at guard, but was really fighting for a PS spot.

We also brought in Bell, who was out of shape but had several years of NFL experience. Bell was a last day cut as we decided to go with Parnell. Garrett has almost always taken the younger developmental guy when faced with a decision of long term versus short term considerations.

PFF has added scores for pre-season games this year. I think there scores are particularly suspect during the pre-season as the number of games are different and the level of competition is widely variable. Yet of the tackles for Dallas this off-season:

Tackle…..games…..score….ranking......percentile

Smith………...04…….6.6……03 of 203…..98

Free………....03.......1.7…….49 of 203…..76

Weems……...05…...1.2…….63 of 203…..69

Parnell……....02…...0.5…….81 of 203…..60

Coughman….04….-2.8.......174 of 203…..14

Bell…………..02….-3.6…...180 of 203…..11

Parnell was over-hyped last year as many of the comments were actually anti-Free. Parnell was an adequate backup and as such could start for a limited number of games. Play him too much and you find out why he is a backup. He also alternated with Free to get some quality snaps last year, but Free outplayed him.

This year, he was injured and did not play early in the off-season. He was the swing tackle to start the off-season and ended that way. He is still developing.

We played Weems more than other options to evaluate him and to give him quality snaps to develop. Did he excel, no. Yet he is also two years younger than the project Parnell and we will give him more time to develop.

OL update

Player………………….ht…..wt…bench…40…vertical…broad…..shuttle…..3 cone…DOB

01…Doug Free….……6’6"….325.....22….5.19…30.0….9’03"…..4.53……7.38….01-06-84

02…Mac Bernadeau…6’4"…..298….26….5.20…28.5…9’01"…..4.56…...7.47….01-03-86

03…David Arkin………6’5"…..300…..25….5.31…29.0...8’07"'….4.63…..7.60…..10-07-87

04…Tyron Smith……..6’5"…..310…..29….5.08….NA….9’01"…..4.68…...7.65…12-12-90

05…Phil Costa……….6’3"…..310…..30….5.12…35.0…9’04"…..4.65…...7.66….07-11-87

06…Travis Frederick..6’4"….312….21….5.58…28.5…..8’01"….4.76……7.81….01-01-91

07…Ron Leary………6’3"….315….30….5.23…29.0…..8’08"….4.91…....7.89….04-29-89

08…Jeremy Parnell...6’6’’…306…..24....4.92….NA……NA……NA……..NA……07-20-86

09…Darion Weems…6’5….318…..26...5.20….27.5…...NA……NA…….NA…...09-11-88

10…Ryan Cook…….6’7"….328….28….5.47…26.5….9’01"…..4.67….7.93….05-08-83…IR

11…Nate Livings…..6’5….309…..26….5.45…23.5…..7’11"…..NA…….NA….03-16-82…IR

The starting OL will be much younger again this year.

http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2013/7/10/4509316/Dallas-cowboys-o-line-one-of-youngest-in-nfl-regardless-who-starts

With injuries the starting lineup against the Giants is unknown. It could be

Smith, Leary, Frederick, Free, Parnell – 23, 24, 22, 29, 25 = 123

Smith, Leary, Frederick, Bernie, Free – 23, 24, 22, 27, 29 = 125

Either could be among the youngest in the league. This is a far cry from the Pre-Garrett OL of

Free, Kosier, Gurode, Davis, Colombo – 26, 31, 32, 32, 31 = 152

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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