IRVING, Texas – Although the Cowboys don't release a list of non-participants during their voluntary offseason workouts, multiple reports of Ronald Leary's absence from the start of organized team activities (OTA's) Tuesday shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise.
According to reports, Leary has been absent from the Cowboys' offseason program in hopes of landing a trade elsewhere. The team workouts are voluntary with the exception of its minicamp scheduled for June.
The veteran guard has started 35 games since joining the team as an undrafted rookie in 2012, including four games last season, but he lost his starting job to rookie La'el Collins last October. In April Leary signed his one-year restricted free agent tender, which means he will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones said last month that the Cowboys received trade calls about Leary, but they didn't make a move – apparently not inclined to trade him unless perhaps the right deal came along.
"Obviously, he'd like to start somewhere, and I don't blame him for that," Jones said last month. "I think he's a starting-caliber offensive guard in this league.
"We think the world of Ron. If we got what we thought was fair, and Ron thought he was getting a chance to be a starter – which, I think he is a starting-caliber guard. If it worked out for both of us, we'd like to help him out – and help us out."
Here in late May, Leary is still a Cowboy, currently projected as the primary backup to starting guards Collins and Zack Martin. In March, the Cowboys signed Joe Looney as a veteran reserve who can play both guard and center – on paper, making Leary's game-day status uncertain for the 2016 season because he doesn't have center experience.
The team typically activates seven offensive linemen for games: five starters, an interior backup and a tackle backup. Leary was inactive in the 11 games Collins started last season, including one due to a groin injury.
In any case, Leary's starting experience does provide quality depth to one of the NFL's most decorated offensive lines, which features three players (left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and Martin) named to the All-Pro team in January.