Three plays, one sack, and one horrendous offensive possession into the season, the Cowboys found themselves without a starting center. Phil Costa started at center, but left the game with a back injury, the same back injury which kept him sidelined for most of the preseason.
In a moment’s notice, journeyman and newly acquired offensive lineman Ryan Cook found himself not only in the game, but facing one of the most disruptive pass-rushing defensive lines in the league. Cook was acquired from the Miami Dolphins just five days prior, but he came in, did a solid job, and may have earned a shot at becoming the full-time starter.
The Cowboys like the versatility that the former 2nd-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings brings to the team. He’s a towering 6’6”, 325lb offensive lineman who can play offensive tackle, offensive guard, and center, and he also has 40 starts in 78 career games. Cook is not really known for his pass-protection, but he does a respectable job in the run game.
Cowboys head-coach Jason Garrett was asked about a possible position battle brewing between Costa and Cook.
“I don’t want to get into that right now.” Garrett said. “We want Costa to get back. Costa’s been our starting center for a reason. We like him a lot, but at the same time we want to make sure he’s healthy.”
Cook is expected to be in the starting lineup for the Cowboys’ second game against the Seattle Seahawks. I expect Cook to be in the starting lineup for the rest of the season.