IRVING, Texas -- Derrick Dockery doesn't see himself as a backup. He hopes that won't be his job description in Dallas for long.
The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Dockery has 111 career starts, but he'll begin his tenure with the Cowboys as a reserve guard. Seventh-round rookie Bill Nagy won the starting job at left guard during training camp, beating out out-of-shape veteran Montrae Holland, who was cut by the Cowboys to make room to sign Dockery to a one-year deal.
"I’m coming to compete, man," Dockery said after his first practice at Valley Ranch. "I’m going on my ninth year. I’ve played a fair amount of games, so my expectation every year is to come in and compete and try to be a starter and try to help the team in any way I can.
"I just know one thing: When I come out here, coach is going to get my very best effort."
The Redskins released Dockery in March, a move that wasn't surprising considering he was due a $3.82 million salary and was inactive for 11 of the last 12 games last season. He wasn't a good fit in Mike Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme.
Dockery believes he fits well in Jason Garrett's scheme and doesn't anticipate that it will take long for him to learn it.
"I’ve never had a problem learning an offense," Dockery said. "I’m just going to get in the playbook as much as I can and try to get this thing rolling."