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Nagy Has Edge

There has been a lot of talk about who will take the open left guard position on the offensive line for the Cowboys. Heading into camp it was assumed that veteran Montrae Holland would provide a stop gap for some younger players to get some experience and eventually over take the position from Holland.

The Cowboys have had to watch as Holland has been out for most of the preseason with a back injury. Holland didn’t help his cause when he showed up to camp out of shape. It may have been a blessing in disguise, however, while Holland has been rehabbing, the Cowboys have been forced to play their two draft picks from this year Bill Nagy (7th round) and David Arkin (4th round).

Both players have been far better than expected and after Sunday’s game it appears that Nagy might have the edge. Arkin started the first preseason game against Denver and held his own rather well. He made very little mistakes and played a great first half. While there weren’t any glowing reviews of Arkin’s play, it was clear the Cowboys were in a better position than first anticipated. When Arkin came into the game against San Diego’s backups on Sunday, he struggled. Arkin’s misread led to McGee being sacked and fumbling. Although Arkin hasn’t made many mistakes, he has made a couple that have been very noticeable.

This Sunday was Nagy’s turn. Nagy put in a solid performance. While Nagy wasn’t the only player on the line, he sure contributed to the comfort and time that Romo had in the pocket against a very tough San Diego defense. “I competed,” Nagy said. “There are some things I need to clean up for sure. There’re always things to get better with, but I just wanted to compete every play and take the good and the bad and learn from it.”

It appeared that the coaching staff also had some pretty good things to say about Nagy’s performance, “I think he’s a little better than we expected probably,” offensive line coach Hudson Houck said. “We’re very pleased with him. He’s a good athlete, he’s a good competitor and he’s extremely smart. And he seems to be productive.”

Nagy, while a lower draft pick than Arkin, might have a bit of an advantage over his fellow rookie guard. Nagy came from the Big 10 giant Wisconsin who is known for their powerful running game and solid offensive attack. Arkin comes from Missouri State. Missouri State is a smaller school that plays in the Missouri Valley Conference. The jump in competition between the two schools is staggering. So, while Nagy is a lower draft pick, his college experience may have prepared him a little bit more for the professional level.

There are still two preseason games to play and Holland is still yet to return from injury so it is a little early to pencil Nagy in as the starter. But at this point in the preseason, it appears that Nagy has the edge over fellow draft pick David Arkin. Whether Holland returns to claim his spot is still up in the air. He is listed as day to day.

There are a lot of interesting battles going on, but this one has grabbed a lot of attention.


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