The Dallas Cowboys lost Doug Free to retirement, but La’el Collins could be emerging as the right solution.
With the Dallas Cowboys preparing for the upcoming 2017 season with work this offseason, there is still a question at right tackle. Early depth chart projections had the oft-injured Chaz Green and Byron Bell at the position. However, La’el Collins also has been getting looks at workouts and will be working out at the position this offseason.
For a decade, Free was playing mostly at right tackle for the Cowboys, so in a vital spot of one of the best offensive lines in the entire NFL, it will take some getting used to and some work to make sure the Cowboys place the right player to fill the role left open by Free.
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Collins has past experience at high school and collegiate levels playing right tackle. But he’s been a guard since joining the Cowboys. With Green, who has missed most of his first two seasons due to various injuries, and Bell, who can play guard and tackle, the Cowboys need to make sure they put their best player at right tackle.
When the name of Collins come up, it does make sense for the Cowboys as the talented player does bring great value for the Cowboys at right tackle. Then, if they decide to, they can play Jonathan Cooper, Green or Bell at guard, as all three are capable of playing the position.
This right tackle project working comes down to the performance of Collins this offseason. If he plays up to the way the Cowboys hope, he will most likely become the next right tackle for the 2017 season.
“I actually forgot how good it felt to be out on the edge — to be out there on that island,” Collins said. “Right now, we’re not doing too much, we’re just kind of working plays against air and that’s about it. But it feels good.”
Thinking about it this potential move does make a lot of sense for the Cowboys. They have players who are capable of playing left guard who may not be the best at tackle, and with Collins, though he’s a dependable right guard, he did have first-round talent to play either guard or tackle.
Bringing Collins into the mix makes sense with the roster in Dallas. This will be one of the more interesting position battles for sure and, if nothing else, it will force Green and Bell to step up the level to their potential as well.
The right tackle spot has become just as important as left tackle, and they have to protect the right edge of the offensive line at a high level like they do on the left side as well. From the looks of it, Collins could be the player on the roster most capable of doing that.