The Dallas Cowboys literally cannot buy an offensive lineman at the moment.
They tried to sign veteran tackle Jared Veldheer; that didn’t happen. Veldheer, with a reported $2.5 million offer on the table, chose to retire rather than join the Cowboys.
They tried to bring back former starting guard Ronald Leary; that didn’t happen, either. After clearing COVID-19 testing protocol and conducting a workout, the sides were unable to reach an agreement.
“The deal fell through,” Leary confirmed to Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher. “It’s not happening.”
Snagged by Dallas as a 2012 undrafted free agent, Leary was a 16-game starter the following two seasons, beating out Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau, respectively. He was a key cog on arguably the best line in the NFL and earned impressive marks, particularly as a run-blocker, from Pro Football Focus.
Leary is coming off three injury-plagued campaigns with the Denver Broncos, who declined his 2020 option earlier this offseason, sending him to the free-agent market. But the 31-year-old avowed to Fisher he’s in his best physical shape since departing Dallas.
“I’ve been a little banged up (in recent years),” said Leary. “Last year I was coming back from an Achilles and I didn’t expect to play as well as I did, but blessed to come back from that without any issues.
“And now? I honestly can say this healthiest I’ve been the last two years. I feel great, my body feels great. This is my first offseason in two years that I’m training and not rehabbing.”
It’s possible Leary and the Cowboys continue dialoguing, but it appears the ship has sailed on his desired reunion. That being the case, the club must be confident in its ever-tenuous OL depth, comprised of Alex Light, Tyler Biadasz, and Connor McGovern.
The Cowboys’ battered front-five — LT Brandon Knight, LG Connor Williams, C Joe Looney, RG Zack Martin, RT Terence Steele — emerged from Week 2 unscathed and will slowly restore to full strength.
After sitting out their comeback victory over the Falcons, stalwart blindside protector Tyron Smith (neck) has a good shot of suiting up Sunday in Seattle, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones stated.
“It’ll probably be another game-time type decision,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “He certainly has an opportunity to play this week. We won’t rule out signing an off. lineman but we’ll just have to see.”
The team should also soon get back incumbent RT La’el Collins, who’s on injured reserve due to a hip impediment. Collins is eligible to return in Week 4 against the Cleveland Browns and all indications point to his immediate re-insertion into the lineup.
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