Ron Leary was missing again Wednesday at the Cowboys’ organized team activities. His No. 65 jersey hung unused in his Valley Ranch locker as his teammates practiced.
Leary hopes to force a trade by skipping the voluntary offseason program.
“Yeah, Ron has not been part of the offseason program at all,” coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. “That’s a contract situation that he and his agent feel it’s best for him to stay away. We have spoken to him, and at this point, none of the offseason program is mandatory. The only mandatory part of the offseason is the minicamp at the end of the offseason program. Right now, he’s choosing to stay away. We don’t think it’s good for him; we don’t think it’s good for our team. But that’s how they’re handling the situation right now.”
Leary started 31 of 32 games at left guard in 2013-14. He opened last season as the starter but lost his job to highly regarded rookie La’el Collins in the sixth game.
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The Cowboys signed free agent Joe Looney as a backup at the three interior offensive line positions on game day, because of Looney’s experience playing center. That leaves Leary as a likely inactive on most game days, prompting his request to go somewhere he can compete for playing time.
Leary, 27, signed his restricted free agent tender of $2.553 million days before the draft in an attempt to pave the way for a trade. The Cowboys, though, have not received an enticing offer, so Leary continues to stay away.
“It’s best to be here working and just going back to business,” Garrett said. “Take care of your business as a professional on a daily basis, and usually good things happen for you.”
The team’s mandatory minicamp is June 16-18.