*(Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players' impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2013 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features guard Kevin Kowalski.) *
Name: Kevin Kowalski
Height/Weight: 6-4 / 304
Experience: 2 seasons
Key stat:Kowalski has played in 14 games, but does not have a start under his belt.
Contract Status:Signed through 2013.
How He Played In 2012: Kowalski didn't play a snap last year. But he was far from an afterthought. An ankle injury before camp landed him a spot on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform), keeping him out of action for the first six weeks of the season. Once Kowalski was healthy enough to play, he immediately jumped David Arkin on the depth chart was activated to play, although he backed at guard and center and never got in a game, unlike his rookie season when he had to play at both positions during the season. While he never played a down, his ability to get himself back from injury and prepared enough to play is a trait that should help him compete this year.
Where He Fits: If he stays healthy, it's not out of the question he could compete with Phil Costa for a starting job. Kowalski's versatility is a big-time plus. As a rookie, he filled in for Costa against the 49ers and helped the Cowboys rally for an overtime win on the road. He also came in at guard later in the season against the Eagles. Knowing both positions could help him make the team as a backup, but it's likely he could battle for a starting gig, too. [embedded_ad]
Rowan Kavner:* *Among the many possibilities to win the center job last season was Kevin Kowalski, whose ankle injury never healed until the end of the season. With the poor offensive line play throughout the year and the injuries at the position, even when Kowalski came back late in the season, he seemed like an option to compete for playing time. Now Kowalski will turn his attention to the 2013 season. With the extension for Phil Costa, it seems like he's the likeliest starting candidate. But apart from Tyron Smith starting, no other positions really seem cemented. Kowalski will have to display that he's fully recovered and can handle a full workload to compete for the starting job.