June 11, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys guard Ronald Leary (65) center Travis Frederick (70) and guard David Arkin (62) during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Depth On The Lines Will Be Tested Early For The Cowboys


Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) – defensive end Anthony Spencer (93) – linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) – defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (97) – linebacker Bruce Carter (54) – nose tackle Jay Ratliff (90) and cornerback Brandon Carr (39) on the line of scrimmage before a play during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Browns 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports



Depth on both lines will be tested early on in the season for the Cowboys.  With Jay Ratliff out for the first six weeks of the season and Jason Hatcher nursing a groin injury, the youngsters will need to contribute.  Never mind the fact that Spencer has been out of commission for a few weeks.

There is some depth on the D-line, with George Selvie and Nick Hayden playing well in the pre-season.  Sean Lissemore, Kyle Wilbur, and Ben Bass will all contribute in a large way come Sept 8th.

If Ronald Leary doesn’t return in time for the opener it could cause all kinds of rearranging on the Offensive side of things. If Leary is not able to go at Guard on opening day I would expect the Cowboys to start Livings, Arkin or perhaps Kowalski if any/all even make the team.  The Cowboys have tried Doug Free at Right Guard, with Jeremy Parnell manning the Right Tackle spot.  Conventional wisdom tells me this is a last resort in case of more injuries.

If Arkin (or whoever else makes the team as a Guard) cannot fill in for a game or two then what is the point in having them on the team?  Doug Free has not played a lick at Guard and is coming off of a season in which he struggled at his natural Tackle position.  Moving him to Guard might ruin the mojo he has obtained at Tackle this pre-season.

Ideally I would like to see Smith, Leary, Frederick, Berdaneau, and Free starting week 1.

With the Ratliff situation I would expect the Cowboys to find some depth when the waiver wires light up this week.   I love the idea of playing young guys more than anyone I know, but it would be a good idea to add some veteran depth inside.  If Johnny Jolly doesn’t stick with the Packers I would really consider bringing him in as an insurance purpose.  He has played well so far and might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder.


Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jay Ratliff

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