Cowboys free agents: Phil Costa
Summary: Costa won the job by default in training camp because of injuries to Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski, then suffered a back injury that kept him out for most of the preseason games. He played in the first series of the season opener at the New York Giants before his back flared up and ended his night. He missed the next three games before returning against Baltimore -- which happned to be the Cowboys' best running game of the season -- only to suffer a partially dislocated ankle the next week that ultimately led to him landing on injured reserve. In total, Costa played about six quarters of football in 2012.
Why keep him: The coaches like his smarts and his ability to fight and the offense went pretty well in his limited action. He can also play guard, and you can't overlook that versatility with gameday roster spots so precious.
Why let him go: In order to keep him, the Cowboys would have to tender him a deal worth $1.323 million or agree to a lower deal. He will never be a dominating player and will get pushed back more than you would like.
Best guess: The Cowboys will keep Costa and let him battle it out in camp with Ryan Cook and possibly Mackenzy Bernadeau or a high rookie draft pick. Again, the coaches like him and know they can count on him to do the right things, even if he is not the most gifted player.
Follow the rest of the series here.
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Play Podcast Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss this week's minicamp and Dez Bryant. Claiborne will join the show to discuss the latest Cowboys news all season.
Play Podcast Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and you won't believe who he says is the Cowboys' best player.
Play Podcast Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about Dez Bryant's talent and potential.
Play Podcast Glenn "Stretch" Smith and Matt Mosley talk about their time at Day 2 of Cowboys minicamp and discuss Monte Kiffin's defensive principles and his growing relationship with the players.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL insider John Clayton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Cowboys and Tony Romo missing OTAs.
Play Podcast ESPN senior NFL analyst Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss another busy week for the Cowboys at Valley Ranch.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss how Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and others spend lots of time with their receivers and if it matters that Tony Romo is not participating in OTAs.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he's looking for during the third session of OTAs, a potential Sean Lee contract extension and why people underestimate Miles Austin's value.