When the Dallas Cowboys played the Miami Dolphins in the last game of the preseason Ryan Cook, then an offensive lineman for the Dolphins, did not know that it would be his last game as a member of that team. He also did not know that the game served as a stage, for him to show what he has, to Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones. Just two days after the Cowboys ended their preseason with a 30-13 win over the Dolphins, and roster cuts loomed around the NFL, Jones decided to pull the trigger on a not so exciting deal. The Cowboys would send a 7th round pick in exchange for the versatile veteran Cook.
The move, at the time, was deemed as nothing more than an attempt at adding more depth to an already thin offensive line, which is what it was supposed to be. Nobody within the Cowboys organization wanted to see Cook get snaps at the starting center position, not because Cook isn’t good, or capable of starting, but simply because that would mean an injury to a team that has deal with its fair share of injuries over the past few seasons. But, like clockwork for the Cowboys, three snaps into their season opener against the New York Giants starting center Phil Costa threw his back out and was forced to leave the game. Now it looks like he might be out longer than expected.
Although there was no timetable for Costa’s return, it did not sound like head coach Jason Garrett expected Costa to be out this week. Well that’s exactly what has happened. Costa has been ruled out of this weeks game and Cook will now be implemented into the starting lineup, a role which he executed nicely, although he didn’t start against the Giants he did play starters minutes, under the circumstances, against the Giants.
Cook has started one game in his career, against the New York Jets on October 11, 2010 when he played for the Minnesota Vikings, and has said this week that he looks at every game like he is going to get starters minutes, and he preparesaccordingly. Cooks mentality, that “you are only just a play away”, is something that helped him tremendously against the Giants. The Cowboys offensive line was not exceptional against the Giants, but then again the Cowboys probably won’t face as talented a front four as the Giants for the rest of the season, so there were some positives to take away from that game.
Cook also acknowledged the lack of communication that caused several penalties, due largely in part to the lack of continuity among the offensive line, (Cook only got three snaps with Romo before the Giants game), and something that, with practice time, will be better. Cook, even with only a week of practice with the starters, will have the heat of the Dallas media upon him this week to anchor the Cowboys offensive line. The last thing the Cowboys want, after such a huge win over their division rival, is to have a letdown against the Seattle Seahawks, a team they should be able to beat.
DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @NBAINSIDERINFO