and escalators that can push the total package to $7.5 million, because he's a piasan of Bill Parcells. They very much intended him to start, er, at least compete with Rob Petitti for the starting job.
And they didn't let Petitti start 16 games last year on a lark. There was reason for that, right, because they could have gone out in free agency to sign a veteran to start once it was apparent Jacob Rogers had basically washed out to sea. They know offensive line is a developmental position, and now they'll see if they will reap anything from last year's investment.
They did sign Kyle Kosier to a five-year, $15 million deal, handing him a $5 million signing bonus. Now I'm not saying he's even a fading Larry Allen, but someone had to do some homework on this guy who supposedly is on the verge of coming into his own. The bang for the buck, compared to Allen's, might be greater.
And then this: Jones is banking on a healthy Flozell Adams and a healthier Marco Rivera.
"And there could be some other guys competing there," said Jones.
He meant guys already on the roster. And he meant Marc Colombo, the veteran offensive tackle the Cowboys signed last year with the idea of simply allowing him to continue rehabbing from knee surgery in hopes of being able to compete this year.
"He's somebody we've got to take note of," Jones said of Chicago's former first-round pick.
Jones and Parcells - no we didn't hear from Bill again, so maybe, cross your fingers, you might here from him this coming weekend during the rookie mini-camp, because if not then, then the next chance won't be until the veteran mini-camp the beginning of June - also are counting on two other factors to help the offensive line.
Terrell Owens gets open quicker, which means Drew Bledsoe is not holding the ball as long, and that this two-tight end offense of theirs will occupy linebackers and cut down on the blitzing the offensive line must face.
Now that doesn't solve all their problems, and certainly the Cowboys do not need to go through another season with Bledsoe getting sacked 49 times. But come on, the real problems began in 2005 after Adams went down. Now, guess that could happen again, but if it does, at least they have Fabini, at least Petitti has 16 games of experience, and who knows, maybe Colombo can play.
That was rather cavalier of the Cowboys to think they could exist with Petitti at one tackle and Torrin Tucker at the other since neither previously had ever played their respective positions in the NFL.
But come on, if the Cowboys didn't draft an offensive lineman in the first two rounds, he wasn't walking in here to start in 2006. No way would the pick be one of those "now and future" picks Jones talked about on Saturday. He would be a future.
Think about it: Allen was a second-round pick, and he wasn't a Day One starter. Both Adams and Solomon Page were second round picks, and they weren't Day One starters. Erik Williams was a third-round pick, and he only started three games his rookie year. Mark Stepnoski was a third-round pick, and he didn't start until the final four games his 1989 rookie season.
So don't get seduced by all these "experts" out there singing the praises of some offensive lineman most never even saw play a full game. This is no different than college recruiting. You hear all about this high school kid and that high school kid, and then the kid disappears for two or three years before he gets a chance to play.
I mean, I'm guessing you were fired up when the Cowboys selected Rogers in the second round in 2004, and what? Same with Stephen Peterman in the third that year, and we haven't seen hide nor hair of him.
Now, having said this, are the Cowboys totally satisfied with the offensive line situation?
"I can't answer, 'Oh yeah I'm comfortable,'" Jones said, "but I'm not uncomfortable."
And I don't think you can say this was a total waste because of failing to address one need before the seventh round.