FRISCO, Texas – The grind of training camp has come and gone, and game week has arrived – but the Cowboys aren’t quite ready to declare a starting left guard.
It’s been one of the few true position battles on this roster for the last six weeks, and it’s certainly the only one that hasn’t been decided as of yet. To hear it from Cowboys officials, it’s something that’ll be decided as practice goes along heading into Sunday night’s season opener against New York.
“It’s still a work in progress,” said team executive vice president Stephen Jones. “As you know, Chaz has battled some injuries and I know Cooper is doing a good job out there as well. So, we’ll just kind of see how that works out there this week.”
Chaz Green got the first look at left guard in the Cowboys’ final preseason game, the Aug. 26 win against Oakland. But shortly before halftime, he exited with an ankle injury and missed both of the team’s practices last week.
That’s been a theme for Green, as has been well-documented. Injuries limited him to just four total appearances last season, and he missed an earlier portion of training camp with a shoulder injury. But his main competitor, Jonathan Cooper, has been unable to seize the job for himself.
“Haven’t made any final determinations yet,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “Obviously, Jonathan Cooper is a candidate there, Chaz Green is a candidate there. We’ll give those guys an opportunity as the week goes on.”
Garrett also said that he anticipates Green to practice this week, which should give both of the main competitors an opportunity. Byron Bell saw a look at left guard during training camp, and Joe Looney is available as an option – but it seems fairly obvious that Cooper and Green remain as the two primary candidates.
That’s been the case for most of the summer, with both players getting extensive work in between Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick. For the time being, though, it’s still up in the air as to who will line up there on Sunday night