Eatman: Assessing OT After Latest Moves

Fans want to see improvement. They want their team to move forward instead of regressing, especially when the last few years (or maybe 15 or so) have been disappointing.

So it's only natural for them to be annoyed, disinterested or even frustrated to see a former player who didn't work out the first time, re-signed to the squad once again.

It happened here a few weeks ago when the Cowboys brought back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah for the third time. And according to emails and twitter, it doesn't seem the latest move that will bring Pat McQuistan back again has people that excited.

I can't argue about the first one. But for McQuistan, who worked on Friday and is expected to finalize a contract before the start of Tuesday's minicamp, it seems like a pretty solid move.

Here's a guy who knows the system – at least in terms of Jason Garrett's offense. He will be new to Bill Callahan, but then again, maybe that's a good thing.

And offensive tackle is a position that appears to be in good shape, especially with the starters. Tyron Smith has the makeup of a guy who will be on the left side for many years to come and Doug Free might not have had a great season as the left tackle, but he should be just fine on the right side. I consider him a young 28 since he didn't really play much until halfway into his third season.

After the starters, you've got Jermey Parnell, who isn't exactly a new name anymore, arriving at the end of the 2010 season. But he's still only played three games in his career, and just a handful of snaps as a tackle. Parnell was given a nice contract extension back in April that should keep in the fold for another year after his, simply buying the Cowboys more evaluation time.

But bringing back McQuistan gives this team some depth – experienced depth – at a couple of spots. While offensive tackle is his natural spot and where he will play here in Dallas, he does have the flexibility to play guard, if needed. That's extremely valuable as you get closer to the season and trying to figure out who stays on the roster.

Plus, McQuistan should help this team in the preseason, an area the Cowboys wanted to improve. We've seen too many preseason games in the past where the offensive line couldn't even function long enough to give anyone around them a chance to succeed. With McQuistan and Parnell likely manning the second- and possibly third-team tackle spots, that should be good enough to evaluate everyone.

And obviously this move should signal the Cowboys aren't extremely high on their rookie tackles They released Notre Dame's Taylor Dever, but he isn't that far behind the other three rookie still on the roster in Levy Adcock, Jeff Adams and Tyrone Novikoff.

So you don't have to do cartwheels for the move, but this one seems to make a little more sense than some of the other return visitors.   

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