Guard / center Cory Procter was released officially yesterday by the Dallas Cowboys, prior to the start of organized team activities. Procter was active for each game in 2009 as the backup center behind Andre Gurode, but saw just five live snaps. His release prompted questions of who would fill this role, and the answer, delivered yesterday, was vaguely surprising.
Kyle Kosier, the team's starting left guard, will now also serve as the backup center. Montrae Holland, who was thought of as a likely replacement for Procter along with second-year lineman Travis Bright and rookie Phil Costa, will remain at guard.
"I'll get [the snap] back there," Kosier said, "but I won't be as good as Andre."
The team will carry seven offensive lineman on game-days--three guards (Kosier, Leonard Davis, Holland), three tackles (Doug Free, Marc Colombo, Alex Barron) and one center, Gurode.
The move is the latest in a series that have given the Cowboys' offensive front a new look. The longest-tenured Cowboy, and mainstay at left tackle Flozell Adams was released abruptly earlier this offseason; the team acquired T Alex Barron from St. Louis in exchange for LB Bobby Carpenter; and, of course, Procter was released earlier this week.
Coaches hope the new-look o-line will provide greater depth, and maximize the effectiveness of the group. Holland, who was praised by Phillips yesterday, was inactive for each game in 2009.
"It makes us stronger as far as who we take to the game," said Phillips in today's Dallas Morning News. "Montrae's been a starter and a good player. I kind of wasted him. This gives us a good opportunity to get a good player to the game."
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