OXNARD,Calif. – Guard Nate Livings and tackle Jermey Parnell limped off the practice field Wednesday and onto a growing list of injured and nicked up Cowboys offensive linemen.
Livings left midway through the first padded session with a hyper-extended knee, and Parnell experienced cramping toward the end of the session. Neither injury seems to be serious. Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan described Livings' injury as a minor tweak and said he'll know more about Livings' status after a staff meeting.
Bill Nagy is still out with an ankle injury, while Kevin Kowalski and Mackenzy Bernadeau are on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Ronald Leary, an undrafted rookie from Memphis, filled in at left guard when Livings departed. The streak of injuries to guard/center utility types has prompted the Cowboys to ask Leary to begin working on snapping the football, something he's never done. Callahan said he enjoys coaching a player like Leary, who is the first in the film room and plays through bumps and bruises.
"For a rookie coming in here and grabbing onto the system, I think he's done pretty good competing with all these big boys," Callahan said. "He's a tough guy. He certainly isn't intimidated. He loves football and he loves to compete. He's a pleasure to coach."
Leary said he knows he can compete in the NFL and hold his ground on the line once he gains confidence and a better understanding of the playbook.
"I'm a big competitor," Leary said. "I'm going to go watch this film, see what I did wrong, because I know I made a lot of mistakes, but that's what practice is for, to make mistakes. I know I can compete on this level."
The injuries also allowed David Arkin to get more experience at both guard positions and center. Callahan said every training camp one player seems to get more repetitions than others. Arkin has filled that role for the Cowboys this year, while increasing his exposure.
"It makes him more versatile," Callahan said. "When you're only going into a game with seven offensive linemen that are up or active for game day, you're going to need everybody. This couldn't be any better situation for him to take advantage of to get himself ready for a starting role or backup role."