IRVING, Texas –Following the third day of the NFL Draft in April, the player Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was most proud of was not one of the team's picks at all. It was an undrafted recruit, guard Ronald Leary.
The team had rated the Memphis lineman as a third-round talent, but gave him a sixth-round grade because of concerns over his surgically-repaired knee. Ultimately, the team won a bidding war for his services by guaranteeing more than half of his rookie base salary. A full four months later, the financial commitment was not enough to secure Leary a place on the roster.
Leary admits he's been disappointed in his play during the preseason.
"My performances in the games just wasn't where I wanted it to be," Leary said after Wednesday's preseason finale. "I don't blame nobody else but myself. I didn't perform. When I went back and watch the film, the mistakes I made were silly mistakes, technique mistakes … The majority of it is foot placement."
After Leary took some starting reps during Organized Team Activities, he took a step back on the depth chart in training camp. Midway through the Oxnard stay, Jones dismissed the idea his prized undrafted signee could compete for a starting job as a rookie.
Final discussions weren't about whether Leary could start, but about whether he deserved to be on the roster, or if he would be claimed on waivers by another team, if the Cowboys attempted to place him on the practice squad.
"I'm just going to take it how it comes," Leary said. "A lot of people thought that just because of how everything went down I was guaranteed a spot, but I never thought like that, from Day One. So, I know my performance hasn't been where it want it to be, but I thought I had a lot better night (against Miami)."
UPDATE: Leary was informed on Thursday that he will be released. However, the team may try to re-sign him to the practice squad.