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    Shuffle The Deck: Byron Bell Splitting First-Team Reps At Left Guard

    It was just one short year ago the had two starting caliber left guards on their roster, with one looking to be traded for an opportunity to play elsewhere. Now, they are looking for the next starter at the spot, and due to some extraneous factors have turned to an unfamiliar face.

    Today, newly signed offensive lineman Byron Bell split first team reps with Thursday night's starter Jonathan Cooper.

    The former and offensive lineman was considered a disappointment during his previous employment, but that does not mean he can't turn it around in Dallas.

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    The main reason he struggled so mightily during previous years was that he was asked to primarily play . Though he does possess massive size, Bell's athleticism and fluidity of feet is lacking, which caused some issues on the outside.

    He was a much more consistent and a higher quality player when at , which appears to be where the Cowboys want to give him his chance.

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    I did not think Jonathan Cooper played poorly during the opener against the by any means. In fact, he came through with a few solid reps in pass protection. Still, he tends to be on the ground far too often, and struggled a bit when run blocking in the zone scheme. Most of Cooper's issues seem to stem from his balance, something he has struggled with throughout his entire NFL career.

    Of course, just because Bell is taking reps does not mean that he has won the job, but it does show the Cowboys are nowhere near being comfortable with simply handing the job to Cooper following Chaz Green's .

    This now seems like a three-man race to start at left guard, and it will be very interesting to watch it play out over the coming weeks.

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    Kevin Brady
    Kevin Bradyhttps://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com
    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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    John Williams

    Cooper still may be the guy, but I’m intrigued by Bell. He may not have great athleticism to play tackle, but if you put him inside, he might have good athleticism for a guard. I’ve always felt his experience was an intriguing x-factor for the offensive line.