Monday, March 21, 2011
Size: 6'4, 318
Age: 33, 3/6/78
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 37 - 2002
Experience: 9 Seasons
Salary History and Contract Status - 2/20/2007: Signed a six-year, $30 million contract. The deal included a $10 million signing bonus. 2011: $5.5 million, 2012: $6.5 million, 2013: Free Agent
2002 Draft Profile From Ourlads.com: 2002 - 4th Rated OL - Andre Gurode - Colorado - 6'4 - 318 - 5.33 - Former center who moved to guard during his junior year. A wide-framed lineman with long arms and good strength. Powerful run blocker. Is explosive at the point of attack. Can generate movement. Plays with good leverage. Keeps his feet moving on contact. Works to finish. Has a fiery demeanor. Good athlete. Quick at the snap - can gain initial position to seal off. Has a good feel for angles. Is an effective on the move run blocker - can pull and strike well. Strong and physical in pass protection but needs development in that area. Extends his arms well - can lock on and muscle the pass rusher. Not a natural knee bender - battles a bit high and gets his feet stationary at times - will bend at the waist and overextend some. Active. Alert to help out. Quality prospect.
Pre-2010: Andre Gurode is a great example of the learning curve necessary for an offensive lineman in the National Football League. Taken in the 2002 draft, the Cowboys started him at center for his first season. Then, in 2003, Bill Parcells wanted him at guard. In his first two seasons, he was not very good anywhere, conceding 16 sacks in 29 starts. For an interior lineman, that is off-the-charts bad. In 2005, Parcells decided that this wasn't working out and he wanted Gurode as his backup swing Guard/Center behind Al Johnson at center and Marco Rivera/Larry Allen at the guard positions. Finally, in 2006, they put him back at center, and has been sent to the Pro Bowl in 4 of his 5 years at center. Some would argue if he has, in fact, been among the most elite centers in the league as those Pro Bowls would indicate, but few would suggest that his play has been a major issue in the last several seasons.
2010: Andre played every snap of the 2010 season for the Cowboys - 1,105 snaps, and surrendered a 1st week sack to Rocky McIntosh of the Redskins. After that, his pass protection was spotless. He has a nasty habit of doing things that we notice very poorly (shotgun snaps, a mistimed penalty), but the things most people do not notice he handles with almost no problems. His line calls and blitz recognition indicate that he generally is well schooled in film study and preparation. He does go through noticeable slumps where one could ask if his intensity has slipped a notch, but when Andre Gurode is ready to play, he holds down the center of the Cowboys line pretty well. ProFootballFocus.com graded his 2010 season as 6th best in the NFL at the center position with positive scores in every category but penalties. There is no question that between his random, off-target shotgun snaps and his 8 penalties (the most of any center in the NFL) that he is not doing himself any favors with public opinion.
2011 Analysis:The Cowboys have 2 remaining years on their 6-year contract with Andre, and the belief here is that they would be more than happy to allow Gurode to get to that finish line. At 33, he has certainly asked plenty of his body, and he is part of an entire offensive line that has many age issues, but his performance is good enough that the Cowboys should not have to worry about center. When evaluating Gurode, it is important that you don't get carried away with the occasional negative play. Those stick out and get the attention of the announcers, but when he is taking 1100+ snaps for the Cowboys, complaining about 15 poor plays would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. He needs to clean those lapses up, but the good outweighs the bad with Gurode overall. Perhaps not the best in the league, but certainly a Top 10 center most years since 2006. And there still appears to be tread on those tires.