Leary appears to have won Cowboys’ starting spot at left guard

Posted Monday, Aug. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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. The Dallas Cowboys look like they are ready for Ron Leary to be their starting left guard.

He played every snap in the preseason opener Sunday night, an indication that he’s being fast-tracked while Nate Livings recovers from knee surgery that could keep him out until nearly the season opener.

“I don’t want to be the coach, but I’m comfortable,” owner Jerry Jones said of Leary, an undrafted free agent out of Memphis two years ago. “He has a substance. It’s not just his size, but his punch. He has a base in the middle.”

Two years ago, the Cowboys gave Leary their highest signing bonus for an undrafted player that year. They had a third-round grade on him, but Leary stayed on the board because of a degenerative knee condition that could shorten his career, although that is not a certainty.

Still, it is more reason for the Cowboys to bring Leary along quickly. And playing every snap allowed him to become comfortable with rookie center Travis Frederick.

“Leary and Travis, specifically, we really had our eyes on those guys,” Jones said. “We saw them do some good things. It’s going to give them some confidence.”

Starters to play

Only four starters played in the preseason opener, but the Cowboys will prepare for every starter to play against Oakland this week, coach Jason Garrett said.

Quarterback Tony Romo and the others will play one or two series as the Cowboys get into the schedule of a normal four-game preseason. The starters will work up to going into the second quarter against Arizona next week and then playing into the third quarter against Cincinnati in the fourth game.

The final exhibition game will be another outing without starters, for the most part.

“We made an effort as a staff to use the extra game to our benefit not to our detriment,” Garrett said. “Now we can get into the normal rhythm of the preseason starting next week.”

Play-calling change

Jason Garrett said the first game without him calling plays went fine and that the “mechanics were good.”

Offensive line coach/coordinator Bill Callahan called the plays, completing the handover of duties hinted at by Jerry Jones in February.

“We did have a few errors in the game for a variety of reasons, but I thought for the most part, we handled it well,” Garrett said. “We still have to clean some stuff up. For me, it was a little bit different because I wasn’t directly involved. But just like a lot of stuff this off-season, it allowed me to step back and coach the whole team.”

Williams OK

Rookie receiver Terrance Williams, who didn’t play against Miami because of a head injury suffered in practice on Friday, should be able to work this week and perhaps play against Oakland, Jason Garrett said.

Williams said the injury is not serious, and he will be ready to go. Garrett said Williams will be considered day-to-day.

Hall of Fame father

Jerry Jones has a potential Hall of Fame résumé, considering the impact his ideas have had on the NFL for marketing, promotions and television contracts, plus three Super Bowl championships.

His son, executive vice president Stephen Jones, said he can see it happening for his father.

“Obviously, I’m biased being his son,” Stephen said. “But what he has done for the NFL and the passion he has for the game, I just hope he gets that chance, and I’m sure he will, but you never take something like that for granted. Obviously there is not a bigger fan than myself for my papa to get that opportunity.”

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez

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