Cowboys looking for OL reinforcements
AUG 03, 2012 5:17p ET
With four interior linemen hurt and not available for practice less than a week into training camp, the Cowboys worked out three of their former guards Friday. They signed two of them, Derrick Dockery and Daniel Loper, to one-year deals.
Montrae Holland, the other guard who had worked out, tweeted Friday night that he was unable to work out a deal.
Dockery and Holland started games for the Cowboys last season, when Loper was also in the organization. All three watched practice Friday.
"Each of those guys have been with us. They've started a lot of games in this league," coach Jason Garrett said before practice. "We need to bring some guys in. We like these veteran guys."
Guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, who because of knee and hip surgeries hasn't taken a snap in any organized workout since signing as a free agent in March, started camp on the physically unable to perform list. So did center Kevin Kowalski (ankle).
Then guard Nate Livings, another free agent signed by Dallas, sustained a hamstring injury this week. Center-guard Bill Nagy has a high left ankle sprain.
On his Twitter account, Holland wrote, "Well I don't think it will work out being back in Dallas right now. Would love to be a Cowboy, but couldn't find middle ground."
To clear room on the roster for the two returning guards, the Cowboys released tight end John Nalbone and placed receiver Cole Beasley on the exempt-left squad list.
There were numerous reports that Beasley, a rookie free agent, has decided not to play. He took part in the walkthrough Friday morning, but wasn't at the afternoon practice.
Nalbone had already left camp to attend to what Garrett, without elaborating, called "a family situation."
Jones said he didn't know there was an issue with Beasley until the owner got to practice Friday. Garrett said he expected to have an update Saturday.
On top of all the interior line injuries, the Cowboys have a new offensive line coach in Bill Callahan and their starting tackles have switched sides. Tyron Smith has moved to left tackle and Doug Free has gone back to the right side.
Even with their familiarity with the Cowboys, Dockery and Loper will be in store for some new wrinkles with Callahan.
"There's no question that's a negative factor for those guys," Garrett said. "Because Bill has really emphasized how he wants to do things technically and there are some changes in what we're doing with our protections and our run game, so some of that stuff, they're not familiar with, but I think more than anything else, it's snaps in NFL games that's a real advantage for those guys."
NOTES: CB Morris Claiborne didn't practice because of knee soreness. Garrett said the first-round draft pick tweaked the knee Wednesday before a day off. Claiborne had an MRI. ... This is the sixth time the Dallas Cowboys have spent at least part of their training camp in Oxnard. They had experienced an earthquake, but never any significant rain until Friday. Rain showers started right before the afternoon practice, and defensive tackle Marcus Spears said he even saw lightning. The rain, which lasted for about a half-hour, didn't alter practice. ... WR Dez Bryant has changed agents, returning to original agent Eugene Parker after a short time with Drew Rosenhaus.