IRVING, Texas – Ronald Leary is probably used to being overlooked at this point.
The Cowboys' second-year guard spent 15 weeks on the practice squad last season before he was finally called up, although he spent those two final losses sitting squarely on the bench.
After not playing a snap in 2012, Leary was allowed to participate in the Cowboys' rookie minicamp this past weekend. But again, even as one of a handful of players present with a Cowboys star on his helmet, Leary was passed over by media members for interviews with draft picks.
None of those issues – the prospect of a roster spot in 2013, or the battle for consistent starts on the offensive line – seemed to bother Leary, though.
"I don't really think about all that because it's too early to even be talking about all that right now," Leary said. "I'm just trying to go out here, get better and work on my technique. Just take it one day at a time."
That attitude is fine enough for Leary, but it doesn't change the wide-sweeping uncertainty along the Cowboys' offensive front. Aside from the saga regarding Doug Free's status at right tackle, there appears to be a scrum for playing time throughout the interior.
That suits Leary just fine, as training camp injuries forced him to spend time at both guard and center last August. Coaches haven't told Leary where to focus, but he said he feels comfortable with either guard position.
Regardless of where he winds up, Leary said the year in the system has benefitted him tremendously in the early stages of the offseason. As the most experienced offensive lineman suiting up at Valley Ranch during the weekend, Leary said his time as a professional has helped him react better.
"It's the mental part of the game. Having that year in, everything is a lot slower now, so it's not so much thinking, it's playing."
Leary may have reached a level of comfort with his responsibilities, but he's not interested in slowing down, insisting "In this game you always have to keep working; you can never take a day off." As one of the voices of experience at camp, the Memphis product handed that advice down. It was interesting to see the one-year veteran working alongside first-round draft pick Travis Frederick. [embedded_ad]
"He did well. He's still young so he has a lot to learn about it," Leary said. "On the first day of rookie minicamp, they put a lot in, so his head is probably spinning a little bit. But, he handled it well."
Though their routes to the roster couldn't be more different, the duo could potentially anchor the Cowboys interior in the years ahead. Provided they put the work in.