With the once assumed starter Montrae Holland sidelined with a back injury, the Dallas Cowboys have turned to a group of young guys to man the left guard position in practice of late. Rookies David Arkin and Bill Nagy and second year backup center Phil Costa have each been taking snaps, Arkin with the first team for the most part, Nagy and Costa with the second and third--and in doing so, we have a potential position battle on our hands.
Arkin, a fourth round pick out of Missouri State, got the start in the team's preseason opener and performed well.
At this point, we’re forced to wonder whether one of the younger guys can do enough to win the starting role out from under the veteran Holland. Offensive line coach Hudson Houck quite a reputation for preferring veterans over young guys, but he has praised each Arkin and Costa--either of whom would no doubt provide a more athletic option than does Holland at left guard--for their work this preseason.
Houck isn’t the only one to have noticed the potential youth movement.
"You see them just when you’re in the huddle and things of that nature," said quarterback Tony Romo, per ESPN Dallas. "It’s a battle. It’s going to be a good battle. I don’t know what the coaches are thinking in that whole process, but it’s an important position and we need to have someone play good football. I know that."
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