The Dallas Cowboys released veteran guard Kyle Kosier on Monday, making him the fourth starting offensive lineman cut in the last eight months. The move comes after the Cowboys signed Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau in an effort to solidify the offensive line while adding some youth and veteran leadership.
The contracts of Livings and Bernadeau total roughly $30 million, so releasing Kosier was a way to conserve cap space after Dallas was hit with a $10 million penalty last week. Livings is a young player entering his prime whose five-year, $19 million deal is just $4 million more than Kosier’s original contract in 2006. Bernadeau’s four-year, $11 million deal is perfect for his talent level – he might turn into a surefire starter or might just remain average. Either way, Dallas got a good deal on both of them.
Kosier was important to the development of Cowboys tackles Doug Free and Tyron Smith over the past two seasons, but Dallas is apparently continuing its youth movement by getting rid of the last “old” veteran offensive lineman on the roster. Montrae Holland is currently a free agent and it doesn’t look like he’ll be back after the signing of Livings and Bernadeau.
Second-year guards David Arkin and Bill Nagy played a ton as rookies and 2011 and Nagy will likely be a starter in 2012. Second-year center Kevin Kowalski will likely replace Phil Costa as the Cowboys’ starting center this year and he can play guard as well. Then the entire Cowboys offensive line would be under age 28.
The release of Kosier also means the Cowboys probably aren’t done in free agency. Dallas now only has four guards on the active roster, so the Cowboys might add another veteran in free agency or draft a rookie. However, that’s not written in stone. The Cowboys might enter 2012 with the current group of offensive linemen and see what happens. Either way, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is taking steps in the right direction to making Dallas a contender.