As Chaz Green fights for job with Cowboys, hydration is important

FRISCO, Texas -- Chaz Green remembers being in middle school and playing three basketball games when cramping first became an issue.

It remains an issue to this day as he enters his third season with the Dallas Cowboys. Green was forced to leave practice early Tuesday because of cramping, and the timing cannot be worse because he is in competition to be the starting left guard.

Green did not play his rookie season because of hip surgery. He played in only four games last year because of a foot injury and then subsequent back surgery.

The cramping is something the Cowboys were aware of when they picked him.

“We felt like we could get our arms around it and hopefully help him,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “I think he’s improved dramatically in that area, but sometimes it creeps back up. There are a lot of things our training staff does with him and he does to combat it, and for the most part it’s gotten better and better.”

Green did not make it through his first rookie minicamp practice in 2015 at Valley Ranch because of dehydration. A shoulder strain knocked him out for around a week of practice in Oxnard, California, this summer, but the cramping issues did not reappear until Tuesday.

“It’s just constantly hydrating,” Green said. “It’s tougher in camp, when we have such a busy schedule and everything, but it’s just about hydration through practice, before practice and after practice.”

The Cowboys drafted Green in the third round with the idea of him becoming the right tackle of the future, but they moved La’el Collins to tackle this spring and signed him to a two-year extension this summer.

Green is competing with Jonathan Cooper and Byron Bell to be the starter at left guard. Considering the time missed with the shoulder strain, missing any time because of dehydration is deflating.

“I’ve said this in the past: The more reps I get, I tend to do better out there, especially at a new position,” Green said. “It’s key. It’s something they’re talking to me about and I’ve known myself. I just got to do what I can do to stay on the field as much as possible.”