IRVING, Texas -- During his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM, Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Doug Free was amazing in his efforts to play guard in the team's preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"First of all Doug Free was nothing short but amazing; He’s never played guard," Jones said Tuesday. "You ask the question are there things guard might require you to address some of the things that Doug has always tried to do in his game and that might be the case. You need quicker hands inside and he was naturally up to the task. He was quick with his hands, that was a real plus."
However, Ronald Leary is expected to start at left guard and keep Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard for the regular season opener against the New York Giants once he recovers from knee surgery. Last season's starter at left guard, Nate Livings is recovering from knee surgery too, and Jones hasn't spoken about about his potential return leading to speculation the team will release him. Leary's injury prompted the Cowboys to make the line changes for the Bengals game. Free most likely won't play in the preseason finale against the Houston Texans on Thursday night at AT&T Stadium.
If Leary isn't ready for Week 1, and Jones indicated he should be, there's a strong possibility Free will start at guard.
"Yeah, I don’t know if it is accurate to say it was THE plan," coach Jason Garrett said. "It was one of the things we considered and certainly one of the things we considered when we restructured Doug Free's contract back in the spring. We thought his value as a starting tackle in this league, can play both sides, has done that for us, but also his ability from a physical standpoint. He has the traits to move inside. We thought that might be an option for as we are trying to put our best five together across the board."