OG Ron Leary Says He's In COVID Protocol With Cowboys

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FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) - - Do the Dallas Cowboys need another offensive lineman who can provide leadership, bully opponents and maybe do so in an affordable way?

Ron Leary would like to provide some answers.

"Dallas is home and always will be home,'' Leary told me recently when the Denver Broncos declined to pick up an option that made him an NFL free agent. "So I’m open. But I understand this is a business.''

The "business'' for the Cowboys offensive line has been troublesome in the early going of this season, the group's battered state causing the Cowboys to contact Leary late this week, he tells me, and inviting him to take COVID-19 testing on the way to a possible signing.

"I'm in COVID protocol right now, so I haven't even been in the buidling,'' Leary tells me. "But we're talking.''

As of this moment, Leary and the Cowboys haven't finalized a contract. But Dallas does need some O-line answers, with La'el Collins out and with Tyron Smith listed as questionable for Sunday's visit from Atlanta with a neck problem.

The business of football is of course how Leary left Dallas in the first place, via a rich four-year $36-million contract given to him by Denver in 2017. And the business of football in Dallas, for a time, blocked a return.

The Cowboys in many ways entered the year seeming loaded in the O-line. In addition to top-notch starters Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and La'el Collins, there is promise from starting left guard Connor Williams and from young reserve Connor McGovern.

But once upon a time, Leary flat beat out the talented Collins (who is now an injured standout at right tackle) at left guard. And Williams has position flex ... as does McGovern, who hasn't played a down yet. The situation is so problematic now that rookie UDFA Terence Steele is starting at right tackle and somebody like young Brandon Knight may have to step in at left tackle.

Leary tells us he's healthy and in shape to return to football.

"I've been a little banged up (in recent years),'' said Leary, 31. "Last year I was coming back from an Achilles and I didn’t expect to play as well as I did, but blessed to come back from that without any issues.

"And now? I Honestly can say this healthiest I’ve been the last two years. I feel great, my body feels great. This is my first offseason in two years that I’m training and not rehabbing.''

"I've got a lot left in the tank,'' Leary told me, "and a lot left to prove.''