Don’t rule out Doug Free and Ron Leary starting at guard for the Cowboys

AP

Doug Free was the Cowboys’ starting right tackle in 2012 until his play at the position led the team to put him into a time share with Jermey Parnell. Ron Leary was on the 53-man roster for one game, which he didn’t play, in his rookie season and has missed the bulk of the summer after knee surgery.

These are Dallas’ starting guards?

According to owner Jerry Jones, it’s not something to rule out. Jones said he feels good about Leary, who was pencilled in for a starting job before his surgery, being back for the first game of the season and that Free’s performance in his first-ever action at guard in last week’s game made Jones feel confident that the team didn’t need to look elsewhere for help at the position.

“Free was nothing short of amazing to come in and play at the level that he played,” Jones said, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “You’d have to be real careful making a pretty significant commitment relative to just the cap standpoint at this juncture, relative to looking to the future.”

If Free does start at guard, Parnell will start at right tackle. That furthers the inexperience of the line as Parnell has only started one game in his career and that was at left tackle in place of an injured Tyron Smith last season. Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau didn’t get the job done at guard last year, however, so it’s not like experience guarantees you anything on an offensive line. The Cowboys would be rolling the dice either way and it sounds like they’re going to go with the unknown up front.