As we move towards free agency, which begins on March 9, we’ll take a look at all the Cowboys current unrestricted free agents in an effort to discern whether they will return or not. Today, we’ll take on a player who has done his job well for the Cowboys, G Ron Leary.
Leary was an undrafted free agent signing out of the University of Memphis in 2012. The Cowboys gave him a big signing bonus to secure his services since they had a third-round grade on him, but a degenerative knee condition had them, and the rest of the league, scared about his longevity. Leary started at guard for a few years before an injury opened the door for La'el Collins to take his job in 2015. An injury to Collins in 2016 allowed Leary to get his starting job back this past season.
Case For Re-Signing
Even though Leary had lost his job to Collins before the injury, it can be argued Leary is the superior player at this stage of each player's career. Collins is till trying to get consistent in the NFL, while Leary has been a road-grader in the running game. If the Cowboys want to go with the best player, they would have to consider Leary. If they re-signed him, they could start giving Collins reps at right tackle to see if he can play out there since he was a tackle in college.
The Cowboys are built on their offensive line, and their running game, and Leary has been a key piece of that. He was the starting guard for DeMarco Murray's league-leading 2014 campaign, and Ezekiel Elliott's 2016 league-leading campaign. There is something to be said for the Cowboys keeping that continuity along the front line.
Case For Letting Him Go
The Cowboys have pretty much committed to La'el Collins as their future guard, and if that's the case they will not be able to afford Leary as a backup player again. Too many teams have seen what Leary can do, and there will likely be a small bidding war for his services. There is also the case of Leary's knee. How long will it hold out? Do the Cowboys want to spend big on a player they might or might not start, and who could lose his health down the road?
The Cowboys would love to have Leary back in some capacity but you can expect other teams to offer big money and give him a starting position. With Dallas committing to the younger and likely cheaper La'el Collins, it's hard to see a way they can keep him.
Vote in the poll then hit the comments to post your take on Leary and his future in Dallas.