Phil Costa undergoes ankle surgery

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys center Phil Costa underwent surgery last week to repair ligament damage in his right ankle. Costa suffered a dislocated ankle in the second quarter of a win over Carolina on Oct. 21. He was inactive for the next six weeks, but the Cowboys placed him on injured reserve Dec. 5.

The season was frustrating for Costa, starting in training camp when he struggled with his snaps. Then, a back injury forced him to miss practices. He recovered in time to start the season at the New York Giants. But he re-injured his back three snaps into the game.

Costa missed the next three games before returning against Baltimore. It seemed Costa was fine, but the next week he suffered the ankle injury while running across the field during an interception return.

Costa said he hopes to return for the start of organized team activities this spring.

"Durability this year, was an issue that hasn't been something in my career that's been a problem," he said. "Never missed a game in high school, never missed a game in college, for that first year in the (NFL), health wasn't an issue. This year it's something. It's something that I'll overcome. It was frustrating."

Tthere was a thought at the beginning of the seasn that Costa would be the weak link of the offensive line, but he was missed badly. The Cowboys played three centers -- Ryan Cook and Mackenzy Bernadeau were the others -- and it seems next year the team will try to replace Costa again.

If the Cowboys draft a guard this April, maybe Bernadeau moves to center, therefore adding more competition to the position.

"Every year it's competition, I have that mentality," Costa said.