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Reel Talk: Cowboys O-line Takes Step Forward With Ronald Leary

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Will Ronald Leary Be Playing Elsewhere in 2016?

When then rookie La'el Collins emerged as a potential star on the offensive line, Ronald Leary was moved out of the starting lineup in order for this star to shine. Though Collins delivered some highlight reel type blocks, and showed flashes of the greatness he so clearly possesses, there is no denying that Leary is currently the better player.

It made sense to start Collins. He, along with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Chaz Green, are the future of the Cowboys offensive line. And in order for him to reach that star potential I recently alluded to, he needed to get these crucial reps early in his career.

With Collins now out for (possibly) the entire season, Ron Leary has been given another opportunity to prove the type of player that he is. No, his future probably won't include the Cowboys, but his present does. And in that present, Leary is playing some pretty good football.

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From the very first series of the game, Ron Leary made his presence felt. One of the areas Leary has performed so well in is getting up to the second level and making his blocks in space.

Here, we see him as the wide puller and lead blocker for Elliott. He gets around Witten and locates the defensive back immediately. Then he is able to lock on to the defensive back and drive him towards the sideline.

Offensive linemen sometimes struggle when trying to block corners and safeties in space, but Leary does an excellent job of it on this play.

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Leary once again shows his ability to climb and block in space, this time on an inside zone play. He does a nice job of making sure the 1-technique does not slant across his face, or beat Travis Frederick across his play-side shoulder.

Then, he climbs to the second level and locks onto the Bengals play-side linebacker. Leary's block on the linebacker springs Elliott into the third level of the defense, and allows him to convert for a big gain.

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Leary is on the backside for this play, but his basic assignment does not change. He has to step play-side, keep his shoulders square, make sure the 3-technique does not come across his face, and then get up to the second level.

He does all of this perfection here, slowing up the 3-technique in order for Tyron Smith to cut him, and then absolutely man-handling Vontaze Burfict. Alfred Morris cuts right off of Leary's block for a big gain.

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Ron Leary has been excelling in pass protection as well. Going against Pat Sims here, Leary is patient with his hands, allowing Sims to swipe but miss. Once Sims misses with his hands, Leary is able to lock onto him and keep him under control. Sims tries to recover with a bit of a bull rush, but Leary sinks his hips nicely and completes the block.

Let me reiterate, La'el Collins is the future left guard of the Dallas Cowboys. But at this point in his career, Ronald Leary is the more reliable and consistent option. Leary doesn't give you those same "highlight reel" blocks, but he does his job, and does it well.

When you tune into the Cowboys game this Sunday, I'm sure Joe Buck or Troy Aikman will mention that they are missing one of their starting offensive linemen in an effort to highlight an injury problem in Dallas. While this is technically true, the drop off between Collins and Leary is virtually non-existent.

To be honest, Leary seems to be the better option at this point in their careers, and the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is in good shape.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

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George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



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BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

Brian Martin

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BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T

The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.

During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.

After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.

This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.

Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!



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REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur

Jess Haynie

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L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.

Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e

Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.

Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.

Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.



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