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On Guard With The Cowboys

We haven't jumped into the realm of free agency much so far, but we might as well start. One position that we haven't really discussed is guard, where longtime starter Kyle Kosier is a free agent. Kosier is one of those guys we tend to forget about until he's injured, then we miss him. He's 32, so he's getting up there in age, and has had injury issues over the years.

Kosier seems to be best in pulling to lead the run, and is more in-tune with an athletic line than some of the other behemoths currently in place. That includes his counterpart on the other side, Leonard Davis. Davis is also over-30, and has a huge contract. With Doug Free and Tyron Smith on the outside, and the recent drafting of athletic David Arkin and versatile Bill Nagy, the Cowboys look to be moving away from the massive o-line of their recent past to a more agile, versatile group. They're also trying to get younger.

So will the Cowboys re-sign Kosier? Or do they think they have the guys needed to fill the gap if he leaves?


Over at the mothership, Nick Eatman brings up a name we kind of forget about - Montrae Holland.

That leaves us with the wild card of the bunch - and that's Montrae Holland. Don't forget he has another year on his contract and I'd like to assume the Cowboys somewhat planned for this kind of uncertainty with Kosier's contract up and possibly trying to either cut ties with Davis or restructure the deal. Maybe that's why they ended up signing Holland in the summer for a two-year deal, when just a few months earlier it seemed he wouldn't return at all to the Cowboys.

Not only did Holland have to play some for Kosier last year, and then replaced Davis in the second half against the Titans, but he played rather well in those stints.

OK, before discussing Holland, the astute reader will notice Eatman suggests the Cowboys could release Leonard Davis. I'm not sure I'd go that far, unless they did re-sign Kosier. I don't think you'd want to replace two starting guards with our current roster. Eatman says much the same at the end of his article.

As for Holland, he did play better last season than in the years before that, and he could be a stop-gap guy.

He might have to be, if David Arkin is behind on the learning curve because of the lockout. As with all later-round draft picks, you just never know how good they'll be.

Another name to throw in the mix is Bill Nagy. Sure, I don't expect too much from a draft pick that was almost Mr. Irrelevant, but he had an interesting story at Wisconsin, and just may be a late-bloomer. He's listed as a center, but he's ready to compete at guard.

But [Nagy] said [Jason] Garrett told him that he could also be used at guard, which was fine with him. ''The positions are similar and I told the Cowboys I am comfortable with both of them,'' Nagy said. ''Wherever they need me, I will compete at.''

''He said it was my responsibility to be in shape and be ready for the call, whenever that will be. That was his main message.''

So what do you think? Is Kyle Kosier re-signed? Is releasing Leonard Davis a real possibility? Would your head explode if Montrae Holland was named a starter? Can either of the draftees make a difference?

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