Ronald Leary Signed By Cowboys As Undrafted Free Agent
April 29, 2012
MEMPHIS, TENN. - Offensive lineman Ronald Leary was signed late Saturday by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.
A native of Baton Rouge, La., Leary (6-3, 325) played in 44 career games at Memphis and made 36 consecutive starts on the offensive line. Leary worked at left tackle much of his career, starting at that position in all 24 games through 2009 and 2010. He started the first six games of his senior season at left tackle, but was forced inside because of various injuries on the line. He then made the final six career starts at right guard. At the team's 2011 post-season banquet, Leary was recognized as a co-MVP and was selected as the Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Leary saw action on 781 offensive plays in 2011 and ended his career having worked 2,296 offensive plays from 2008-11. He was named to the All-C-USA second team following the 2011 season, and participated in the 2012 NFL Combine in February.
According to a story by Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com, the Cowboys were impressed with Leary at a private workout, but the organization was concerned about "a chronic knee problem."
"The issue for him is how long [he can play], it's not now. It's how long he can play," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones was quoted in the story by Watkins. "That's why he fell the way he fell. We had our coach think he might be the readiest of any [drafted] offensive linemen."
"Here's a guy who gives us a chance to [play him] now," Jones said. "It helped me because there's risk here, and it helped me talk about [playing] now as opposed to development. He can get in here and play now."