Countdown to Camp: Offensive Line

The left side of the line will again be the strength of the team as guard Larry Allen and tackle Flozell Adams were both named to the Pro Bowl in 2003 and 2004.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Starters -- LT Flozell Adams, LG Larry Allen, C Al Johnson, RG Marco Rivera, RT Undecided. Reserves -- G Stephen Peterman, C Andre Gurode, G/C Tyson Walter, G/T Ben Noll, T Rob Petitti, T Jacob Rogers, T Kurt Vollers, Torrin Tucker.

Adams, in particular, has drawn the praise of head coach Bill Parcells this offseason.

"Flozell Adams has lost weight -- I mean a lot of weight -- and (guard) Larry (Allen) is running like he's never run before, and (tight end) Dan Campbell is back, we hope he's ready to go, too," said Parcells.

Adams has started 101 straight games to become the team's steadiest and most reliable offensive lineman.

Allen, who has made nine trips to Hawaii, has also enjoyed a strong offseason coming off a solid 2004. Having now started 32 consecutive games after missing most of the 2002 season, he's been mentioned as a possible candidate at right tackle should the Cowboys fail to find a starter at the position during training camp.

At center, the Cowboys like the progress and potential displayed by Al Johnson. Backing him up will be Andre Gurode, last year's starter at right guard.

Gurode, who was moved after the signing of free agent guard Marco Rivera, has been largely disappointing despite starting 42 of his first 49 games in the NFL.

"If he wants to play, he'll have to beat out Al Johnson," said Parcells. "That's the plan."

Gurode played center briefly as a rookie in 2002 before being moved to guard.

The Cowboys main area of concern on the offensive line entering traing camp is at right tackle where Torrin Tucker, Kurt Vollers, Ben Noll and rookie Rob Petitti will battle it out for playing time.

After the Cowboys' mini-camp in May, Parcells expressed disappointment in the overweight Tucker, but he also hinted that Noll had been impressive at times during the last part of the 2004 season.

The Cowboys believe whoever starts at tackle will be helped by the presence of Rivera. The former Packer has started 99 consecutive games and is coming off four consecutive Pro Bowl bids himself.

If no one emerges at right tackle, the Cowboys are considering moving Allen to tackle and possibly Peterman or Noll to left guard.

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