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Cowboys roster evaluation: C

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Dallas Cowboys center roster evaluation.

C

Starter: Andre Gurode – Patience sometimes pays off. During Andre Gurode’s first couple of years with the Dallas Cowboys he was a player in flux, shifting between guard and center and sharing time with Al Johnson. While clearly a talented player with enormous potential, the coaching staff in those years were concerned about the mental aspect of his game. He was labeled as a player who could get distracted and didn’t have a good grasp on reading defenses and making the proper line calls. Somewhere along the way, Gurode pushed past that and has now become one of the best centers in the league. The transformation was apparent in 2006 and he continued his upward trajectory in 2007. The combination of him and Leonard Davis in the middle of the line has created solid protection for Tony Romo and both are road-graders when it comes to run-blocking. Only the left tackle spot is more important than the center on an offensive line and the Cowboys have found one they can depend on. The one major flaw in Gurode’s game is his inability to produce consistent snaps from the shotgun. Too many times they float lazily to Romo forcing him to wait and allowing the defensive pass rush to gain valuable time. On occasion, he’ll shoot them over Romo’s head leading to extraordinary plays like the one against the Rams but plays the Cowboys would rather do without. Other than that, Gurode is a top-flight center. Sometimes patience does pay off.

Cory Procter – Procter did a fair job filling in for Gurode when he was hurt at the end of the season but there was a drop-off in ability. Procter represents a valuable backup that can start in a game without disastrous effects and his versatility to play both center and guard is a bonus.

Thus ends the roster evaluations on offense. I will try to get through the defensive side of the ball with greater alacrity.