OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys have to reassess their contingency plan at center after Kyle Kosier suffered a sprained right knee Wednesday morning that could sideline him for four to six weeks.
The Cowboys intended for Kosier to fill that role in case Andre Gurode went down. That would allow them to have Montrae Holland as one of their two active reserve linemen on game days. However, Kosier has never had a game rep at center.
“We’ve been trying to work [Kosier] in practice at center over the course of the spring and course of training camp,” offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. “We wanted to get some preseason reps, but now we’ve got to adapt to it and just see where he is and see where everybody else is who can potentially serve that role.”
The Cowboys experimented with Travis Bright at center, but he’s focusing full-time at guard again. Rookie Phil Costa, who went undrafted in large part because he has short arms, has been working as the backup center.
“Costa has done a nice job. He really has,” Garrett said. “He’s a guy that we liked on tape coming out. What he’s done here is a lot like what we saw in games while he was at Maryland.
“He’s a smart football player. He’s tough, he’s aggressive. He plays with good mental quickness. He sees things and reacts and gets after the guy. He doesn’t hesitate a whole lot, and that’s really important for any offensive lineman, but particularly the interior guys. You can tell he’s played a lot of games in his life and he doesn’t seem overwhelmed by the transition to the NFL.
“Now he has a lot to learn. He has a long way to go – don’t get me wrong – from a technical standpoint and a scheme standpoint.”
The Cowboys have shown no interest in signing a veteran center, such as 39-year-old Kevin Mawae. But they might reconsider that stance after getting Kosier’s MRI results this afternoon.
Garrett mentioned that the Cowboys had success with reserve centers during the Super Bowl years in the ‘90s. Backup Derek Kennard, 33, started Super Bowl XXX.
“Now, doing it with young guys who haven’t done it before and haven’t played a whole lot of games, you’re a little bit more reluctant,” Garrett said.