One of the biggest battles currently happening at Dallas Cowboys training camp is at starting left guard. That contest appears to be a two horse race.
Before the start of Dallas Cowboys training camp, we touted the most important positional battle would be at left guard. That’s due to the exodus of veteran Ronald Leary to the Denver Broncos this offseason and the move of former starter La’el Collins being shifted to right tackle to replaced the recently retired Doug Free.
Those moves left the Cowboys with a major void along what many consider to be the scariest positional group in the entire league. Famously, Dallas possesses the most dominate offensive line in the NFL, with three perennial Pro Bowlers in left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin in the trenches.
The Cowboys could find themselves with four offensive lineman in the Pro Bowl this season if Collins’ early play at training camp is any indication. But it only takes one weak link to ruin the chemistry of an offensive line and potentially a team’s season.
So it is vitally important the Cowboys find a suitable, effective player at left guard regardless of the All-Pros he is bookend him with.
Right now, the competition at left guard appears to be a two horse race between former first round bust Jonathan Cooper and Cowboys 2015 third round selection Chaz Green. And one insider believes the Dallas brass and coaches are pulling for the later to win the job.
"“My gut feeling is that the front office and coaching staff would like Green to take this job from Cooper — not only now but going into future years,” wrote football analyst Bryan Broaddus on the team’s official website. “He was a high draft pick and they got a nice taste to his potential of what he can accomplish when put in those starting situations. If Green can maintain his health, which has always been the question, I really like his chances to be one of the starting five.”"
UPDATE: Late Sunday, it was reported Chaz Green suffered a shoulder injury . He’s had a MRI and the injury apparently does not require surgery but Chaz is still expected to miss some time.
Green has been a bit of disappointment during his time in Dallas. And that’s been mainly due to injuries. Hip surgery essentially redshirted the young lineman during his rookie season in Dallas. Last year, Green showed promise starting in two games for Dallas at left tackle before back surgery ended his season prematurely.
Coming out of college, Green had major durability concerns. Many saw his selection in the third round by Dallas as a major overreach. While at Florida, Green missed the entire 2013 season due to a torn labrum. He was also plagued by ankle issues during his time with the Gators.
Like many players before him, Chaz Green is going to have to prove he can stay healthy if Dallas is going to entrust him with the starting left guard role. Availability is just as important as ability in the NFL.