The possibility of Phil Costa unseating a five-time Pro Bowler and becoming the starting center for the Cowboys was definitely picking up steam.
But that notion cooled off drastically Thursday after Costa suffered a sprained PCL in his knee, an injury that isn't expected to require surgery but should keep the second-year lineman out 2-4 weeks.
The injury occurred just days after the Cowboys were starting to rotate both Costa and Andre Gurode at center. Costa apparently suffered the injury Wednesday evening at the night practice at Cowboys Stadium. Costa did not participate in Thursday's afternoon workout at the stadium.
With Costa out, the Cowboys need to at least find some alternate options at center to back up Gurode. Rookie Bill Nagy, who is currently the starting left guard, also worked at center to start training camp and could likely slide down if needed.
But the news has to be disappointing for Costa, who worked with the first-team offense for three weeks with Gurode sidelined with a knee injury that surfaced after he had arthroscopic surgery in early July.
Costa's performance not only caused owner/GM Jerry Jones to say he was the "surprise of camp" but head coach Jason Garrett chose not to answer when asked Thursday if Costa and Gurode were competing for the starting spot.
"We're not that far ahead in the conversations," Garrett said about Costa unseating Gurode. "We want to create competitive situations throughout our football team. That's really why we don't talk a lot about starters. It's more about working with the ones. He's worked with the ones just like Andre (Gurode) worked with the ones. I think it was beneficial for Costa to get some work when Andre was out early on in camp because that established him a little bit more and he was getting rep after rep after rep. if you approach it like he does you're going to get better."