Ron Leary expects to return to the starting lineup Sunday after missing the past two games with a groin injury. The left guard had hoped to return last week, but missed Wednesday’s practice and was limited Thursday and Friday.
“I guess that was more the trainers call, you know,” Leary said Tuesday. “They know I want to play. They know I want to be on the field, but they get the final call on that, and they said I wasn’t ready. So that was it.”
Mackezny Bernadeau started against the Eagles and played two series for every one that rookie La’el Collins did. But Bernadeau ended up with 42 snaps to Collins’ 42.
Collins got his first career start Sunday against the Falcons and played all 53 snaps.
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95 Snaps for rookie La’el Collins at left guard this season
“It was a great experience, especially as a rookie getting your first start,” Collins said. “It always means lot. Just being able to do that was definitely great.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that Leary would return to the starting lineup despite the way Collins has performed in Leary’s absence. Leary has started 34 of the Cowboys’ past 37 games at left guard, including the postseason.
“Ron has just really played well, and he’s played well all year,” Jones said on his weekly radio show on 105.3 FM The Fan. “…As you know, generally we go with the starter [when he] returns after injury, and he’s the starter. But Ron has really earned everything he’s getting, and he was a great, great pickup for us.”
Leary, 26, is in the final year of his contract, making $585,000 this season. Collins signed a three-year, $1.6 million deal as a rookie free agent after an unforeseen fall out of the first round and out of the draft in May.