Sunday, August 26, 2012

Livings satisfied by debut in Dallas trenches, says OL getting comfortable ... - Fort Worth Star Telegram (blog)

Cowboys offensive guard Nate Livings, signed as a free-agent during the off-season to help stabilize the interior of the offensive line, gave himself a solid but less than overwhelming assessment after his first night in the trenches for Dallas in Saturday’s 20-19 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

“It felt pretty good, but there’s always something,” said Livings, whose debut in game conditions gave the Cowboys four of their five projected starters in the offensive trenches working in tandem for the first time during the pre-season. “Although we strive for perfection, there’s never a perfect game.”

True. But the Cowboys’ first-team offense clicked at levels unseen until Saturday, with QB Tony Romo leading scoring drives on each of his three possessions before calling it a night at the end of the first quarter. Romo was not sacked. And two subsequent sacks of backup Kyle Orton stemmed from missed assignments by running backs, not linemen.

How did Romo grade his offensive line’s performance?

“I thought they did a good job,” Romo said. “We’ve been building. Camp’s a long time … I’m proud of the guys up front. They continue to get better and better. It’s exciting to see.”

Center Phil Costa (back), the lone starter who has yet to play in the pre-season, is expected to return to practice Monday and could take some snaps in Wednesday’s pre-season finale against Miami. But Romo is not expected to play against the Dolphins, meaning the first time he will be protected by all five starters will be the Sept. 5 season opener at the New York Giants.

Asked if the line was gelling in terms of assignments and continuity despite limited game reps together, Livings said: “I feel real comfortable with the guys … trust in the guys and (am) learning where guys are going to be on certain downs. So it felt good.”

_ Jimmy Burch

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