With Doug Free out due to an ankle injury, the Dallas Cowboys need to figure out a solution to their right tackle problem. It seems that signing the undrafted La’el Collins is their answer, turning the left tackle into a right side player through the early days of training camp.
If it wasn’t for the legal problems, Collins would probably had been a first round pick. But he didn’t get drafted by anyone and once the smoke cleared, the Cowboys added him in another ambitious move by the team trying to capitalize on their success last season and continue to keep their offensive line deep and filled with quality, making it possibly the best O-line unit in the league.
Collins also played some guard in college (26 games at left tackle, 13 at left guard) for LSU, and expects to do the same in the NFL, although right now he’s mostly busy adjusting to seeing things from a completely different point of view.
It’s definitely a new position for me, so a new challenge. I have to go out each and every day and focus on the small things – my technique, my assignments. It’s been a great two days for the OTAs. Because I had to switch over from playing pretty much left my whole career to right, so now I have to switch up my stance and really rewire my whole mind into where I want to go and when I hear the play calls and things like that.
The Cowboys see it as a competition between Collins and Darrion Weems to start instead of Free, while knowing they have a very good chance to turn Collins not just into a starting offensive lineman, but also someone who can plug almost every hole they have there in case it’s time to deal with injuries.
He and Darrion Weems are competing at that spot in Doug Free’s absence, and we’ll just see how that unfolds. All those guys, having some position flex and some versatility on the offensive line is really, really important. He’s someone who’s demonstrated that in college and has the physical traits to do it at this level.