The Cowboys will save big money in 2011 and 2012 by letting Gurode go, but there will be trade-offs on the field. He was the strongest of all potential starters at center, matching up particularly well with the heftiest nose tackles. Despit the fact that the club is giving up significant experience, second-year guy Phil Costa – who is expected to replace Gurode as the starter – is regarded as much stronger at making line calls. Costa is also much more athletic.
Costa taking the center job leaves Montrae Holland and two rookies – fourth rounder David Arkin and seventh rounder Bill Nagy – competing for the left guard spot. Holland has not practiced yet this camp, but he has lost considerable weight in his time off. Nagy has started the last two preseason games. Undrafted rookie Kevin Kowalski started at center Saturday night with Gurode held out and Costa still out with a knee injury. His chances of making the roster improved dramatically with Gurode’s departure.