Guys, we have a problem. In a season that the Cowboys are expected to be contenders, there has been a significant roadblock. The Cowboys spent the offseason addressing needs but seemed to forget one significant one…center.
Despite the lack of depth that originally existed at the position, an injury to Kevin Kowalski left the position bare through training camp. Now add starting center Phil Costa to the injury list. Costa sustained a lower back injury in practice and his timetable is a little unsure.
It’s Costa’s injury that has raised a red flag, but it was his play last season that should have. Last season, snaps flew over Tony Romo’s head and Phil Costa seemed to get manhandled by opposing pass-rushers.
So why haven’t the Cowboys looked elsewhere?
Simply put, Jerry Jones and the organizational leadership think they can find depth in-house. However, I’m not so sure of that fact. While they seem confident in Bernadeau’s and David Arkin’s ability to play center, neither of those players have significant experience at the position.
On the free-agent market there just aren’t many names available. The best being Jamaal Jackson, who played for the Eagles last season before being replaced by a rookie. Jackson would provide a great upgrade to the team, but at what price? And what condition is he in?
The season inches closer every day; the Cowboys no closer to finding a center who can anchor that offensive line, and because of that, they are closer to having an injured Tony Romo.
With Phil Costa at center, can the Cowboys win the NFC East?
The Cowboys can continue to downplay this and pretend it’s a non-issue. The fact of the matter is, though, that this is as significant as not having a decent running back. Without an efficient center, the Cowboys will continue to have plays where the ball is long-snapped over Romo’s head, the pocket will continue collapse around Romo and three-and-outs will be more common than not.
The NFC East is a vicious division. The teams in it all feature an elite pass rush. If the Cowboys are on the road to the Super Bowl, this is something that needs to be fixed quickly. Otherwise, guys, we’re in for a long, disappointing ride.
It’s that serious.