IRVING, Texas – An 11-game starter finds himself in a much different scenario this year.
Ryan Cook played in 13 games and started 11 last season after getting traded to the Cowboys at the end of August. Just a few days later, he'd suit up for the opener against the Giants, entering as the starter when Phil Costa got hurt after the first series.
But the Cowboys drafted a center this year and Costa is healthy once again, leaving Cook in a much different spot regarding potential playing time. He prefers to look at it positively and said a strong training camp could help him ascend.
"It's always an open competition as far as I'm concerned and as far as I've been told," he said. "So I just approach it that way every day."
Cook got to participate in Organized Team Activities and minicamp with the Cowboys for the first time this year. He'll also get his first training camp with the team. He said continuity on the line matters tremendously, so he's glad he gets this time to prepare.
"Last year we kind of had to build it as the season was going with my late arrival here in Dallas," he said. "We can continue to get better in that aspect as far as everybody being on the same page earlier in the year."
Cook has played [embedded_ad] different positions along the line and could shift to a spot other than center, where Travis Frederick and Costa seem the likeliest candidates to play. He hasn't moved yet, though.
"What the future holds is open for debate, I guess," he said. "I have played guard. I have played tackle. So I am able to do some of those things. I'm just here to do what they ask me to do, and if that's one of the things they ask me to do, I'd be more than happy to."