Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cowboys Offensive Lineman Alex Barron Likes His Gum

It’s not often we get to chat with offensive linemen. They are, generally speaking, the most reluctant group on a football team when it comes to talking to the media even going so far as to institute a fine system if one of them “breaks the code”. Leonard Davis and Adre Gurode aside, you don’t see a ton of interviews (tv in particular) with Cowboys linemen. So it was a rare treat on Tuesday when a few of us interviewed new Cowboys tackle Alex Barron who Dallas acquired in a trade with the Rams for Bobby Carpenter.

Before we go any further, Barron is a physical specimen! He stands a pretty accurate 6’7 and is listed at 302.  It's not a soft, have-another-a-pastrami-sandwich 302, either.  Even fully clothed this man looked solid.

He would be a great addition to the Mavericks frontcourt. I tried to butter him up, or beat him down depending on your perspective, by talking some basketball with him. I knew he was a double-double guy at Wilkinson High School in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He admitted a few small area universities and community colleges tried to recruit him but he played football at Florida State.

He’s getting comfortable with the Cowboys and likes the fact his linemates have been around a while. “It helps you a lot because you get to learn from them,” Barron said.

It’s also a chance to work with a great position coach in Hudson Houck. “Every offensive line (has) its own techniques and how things should be done as far as footwork and stance. It’s just another learning experience.”

But not too much.

“Some of the things we’re talking about are second nature because, in the end, we’re talking about playing football. Every coach has a different way he wants to teach.”

The 27-year old started 74 out 76 games with the Rams and is used to getting first team reps. He’s adjusting to working in a backup role. “You try to get as (many) mental reps as you can,” he admits. “That’s just how you gotta take them.”

We also discussed playing left vs right tackle and figuring out the Cowboys way of doing things but those comments might bore you more than the previous ones did.

That about sums up our conversation with Alex Barron. He was nice. He also had an fresh piece of Wrigley’s chewing gum dangling out of his mouth during the entire interview.

He was considered a bit of a disappointment in St. Louis. According to one stats service, he is the NFL’s most penalized offensive lineman since 2005, racking up 73 (23 more than your 2nd-place penalizer Flozell Adams).

Perhaps this change of scenery will be good for him. The Cowboys hope so.
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