The offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys was already a known weakness going into this offseason and even training camp. There was and still remains the thought that if the team is to have any time of success and go places, the offensive line needs to perform well.
While Travis Frederick is a rookie and the guards are shaky, optimists would say that if Frederick exceeded expectations, if the guards at least held their own and if Doug Free returned to his 2010 form, the line could get by and be okay. However, that optimism has quickly dissipated with the rash of injuries the team has had during this training camp, and now they face a boatload of question marks and issues.
Right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau missed time early in camp, and Nate Livings is out after undergoing knee surgery. Now, left guard Ronald Leary — Livings’ replacement who was thought to have the strongest case for a starting role on the line — will now miss 2-4 weeks following a left knee surgery that he will have on Friday.
Leary was thought to be that guy to possibly emerge as an NFL starter. He’s still green as far as experience goes, but showed good strength in the first two preseason games. Now, that plan gets put on hold, and the Cowboys are going with Dave Arkin — a 2011 fourth-round pick who hasn’t shown a lot in his time on the field during his career — as their starting left guard Saturday vs. the Arizona Cardinals.
Leary was Livings’ backup, and Arkin was pegged as the right guard backup to Bernadeau. Now Arkin shifts to the left side with Kevin Kowalski his backup, and 25-year old Ray Dominguez, originally a third-stringer at right guard, is now Bernadeau’s backup.
The team had a deal in place with Brandon Moore, but he decided to retire. They have an offer on the table for Brian Waters, and as it looks now, they’ll really need him to sign. Because right now, the mounting problems and injuries could be too much for the team to overcome.
Jake Carapella is a Dallas Cowboys writer for RantSports. Follow him on twitter @JKCSports1, or add him on Google.