Kosier Plans to Fill Big Shoes

It's one thing for a free agent to sign with a team, hoping to replace a departed veteran. It's another thing entirely when the departed player has been a vital cog in his former team's success, and considered a future Hall of Famer who just might be the best ever to suit up at his position.

Such is the scenario in which free agent guard Kyle Kosier (pronounced KO-zar) finds himself. After spending last season with the Detroit Lions, after his first three with the San Francisco 49ers, Kosier finds himself asked to fill the immense void in the Dallas offense created when Larry Allen became a salary cap casualty and bolted for San Francisco.

"Those are some big shoes to fill," Kosier said. "Larry was a great player – he still is. He's the best guard ever to play the game."

But rather than trumpeting his own talents or proclaiming that he'd make fans forget Allen, Kosier gives the impression of being the ultimate blue-collar blocker, calling himself "just a regular guy, doing my job." To replace Allen, he needs to exceed that modest self-assessment.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pounder from Arizona State is not the overwhelmingly powerful specimen his predecessor was. But his value to the Cowboys will be increased because of his versatility. He played left guard for the Lions last year, but also was designated Detroit's "swing" lineman, who could fill in at right guard – or even tackle, if necessary – if injuries dictated that such a shift was necessary.

That versatility brought considerable attention when free agency began, as Kosier was wooed by five teams, including his former employers (Detroit), his home-state Arizona Cardinals, and the Cowboys. Kosier signed with Dallas on the first day of free agency.

"Detroit really didn't show any interest in bringing me back until the day after free agency started," Kosier said, "and by that time, I already knew I was coming to Dallas."

The decision, he said, was fairly simple.

"Why wait?" he said. "This is where I wanted to be. It's a winning place, with a great coach. Why pass up a good thing?

"I thought about going to the Cardinals – they're getting better, they're getting a new stadium, I grew up out there, but I didn't want to deal with having to get everyone tickets. Coach (Bill) Parcells is known as a coach who has his team ready to play every week, and he's a winner. I wanted to play for him, and I wanted to play for the Cowboys. Growing up in Arizona, most people were either Los Angeles Raiders fans or Cowboys fans, and I was a Dallas fan. To get to play for them now is a great honor."

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