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 2015 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features offensive guard Ronald Leary.
Name: Ronald Leary
Position: Offensive Guard
Experience: 3 seasons
Key stat: Leary made for quite a tandem next to Tyron Smith on the left side of the Cowboys' line. Dallas ran off left tackle 98 times last year, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. They ran off left guard 41 times, averaging 4.2 yards per carry.
Contract Status: Signed through 2015
2014 Impact: If you were to ask the five starters along the offensive line who is the nastiest player among the group – I promise that Ronald Leary would win the vote. Of the five he is clearly the least talented when you talk about athlete ability but he doesn't take a backseat to anyone when it comes to strength and competes. Is never going to be the most technique sound but when it comes to securing his man, he manages to get the job done. Physically beat up on J.J. Watt and others during the season. Can be a load to deal with when he comes off the ball. Will continue to need to work on his technique because there were snaps where his pad level was much too high and he played with straight legs. When he played this way it hurt his mobility which isn't outstanding to begin with. Felt like he made some strides from his first season to the second when it came to the mental side of the game. There were far less mistakes when you watched him play and that was a good sign. He worked well with Tyron Smith getting push off that left side but will still need to work on improving his mobility to secure more second level blocks. His power helps with his lack of athletic ability. In talking with people in the organization about his game, he has worked harder to become more of a pro with his practice habits and that has translated into his overall game improving.
Where He Fits: Will once again be the starter at left guard for the 2015 season. Has made great strides in his overall game and the feeling is that he could become even better and to borrow a scouting term, the arrow is going "Up". Is a nice fit in regards to how he keeps the front of the pocket solid for Tony Romo and the way he works with Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick.
David Helman: Unfortunately for Leary, somebody has to be the weak link. That's honestly not a knock on the second-year starter, it's just a testament to the quality of the Cowboys' offensive line. Dallas boasts three Pro Bowlers and an eight-year veteran at the other four offensive line spots. Considering he was undrafted out of Memphis, you'd have to say Leary has more than outplayed the expectations. That's not to say he doesn't have limitations, though. It's hard to forget the Eagles bullying Leary in that Thanksgiving beatdown last season. The Cowboys picked up Leary for another season last month, so I fully expect him to start – and excel – again in 2015. I won't be surprised if the search for a replacement is already underway, however.