Broaddus Breakdown: Guards/centers

Sixth in a series breaking down the Cowboys by position (previous entries):

Roster locks: Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis, Kyle Kosier

Good bets: Montrae Holland, Travis Bright

On the bubble: Pat McQuistan

Long shots: Phil Costa

The Pro Bowlers need to perform better than they did last season, when unheralded Kyle Kosier was the most consistent player in the group.

Andre Gurode failed to secure his man too many times. He failed to get to the second level too many times. He didn’t finish his block too many times. You’re always going to have mental mistakes and consistency issues with him. I see guys running through and making plays on him. I see guys getting off blocks and making plays. He shouldn’t have been a Pro Bowler last season.

Leonard Davis is extraordinarily strong, but he struggles in space and against quick players. If you bull-rush him, he’s going to beat you. If you make him move and get to his outside shoulder, he’s going to have problems. In the San Diego game, when the Cowboys couldn’t punch the ball in from the 1-yard line, Davis was a significant part of the problem because he did a poor job of adjusting to the run-through linebacker. The longer he has to hold his block, the harder it is because he doesn’t have the athletic ability to sustain blocks. He has to grab and hold. The weakness of the offensive line is center and right guard.

Kyle Kosier doesn’t have great size for a guard, but he has tremendous desire and determination. He knows how to finish blocks and is consistent down after down, run or pass. He does a nice job of tying up his man in the running game and is effective when he pulls. He’s good in space and very good in combination blocking, working well with the tackles.

The plan is for Kosier to slide over to center if Gurode goes down, but Kosier has never played center. This presents an opportunity for Bright, a guard who focused all offseason on learning the center position. He’s been in the Cowboys’ program for a year and has a chance to prove that he deserves a roster spot this preseason. He could be the guy that bumps Pat McQuistan off the roster.

Montrae Holland is an expensive insurance policy again. He’s a short-area, phone-booth type of player. He’s not quick or agile. He doesn’t offer much other than strength.