Now that Doug Free has entered retirement, third year pro La’el Collins has moved over to right tackle? Are the Dallas Cowboys safe with him there?
In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected seven defensive players with their nine picks. The two offensive picks went to the wide receiver positions.
The Cowboys may have found their Cole Beasley 2.0 in rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer. Noah Brown is an interesting prospect. The ‘Boys grabbed him in the seventh round, making him the 239th overall pick in the draft.
Standing at six-foot-two, Brown, an Ohio State product, is still only 19 years old. His birthday is in July.
The Cowboys didn’t address the offensive line in the NFL Draft. And to boot, the team lost left guard Ronald Leary to free agency.
Now, let’s not forget, Collins started the season at guard, but it was Leary who came in at that spot and, improved the offensive line as a whole. Leary signed with the Denver Broncos, earning himself a four-year deal, $36 million contract.
The 28-year-old started 47 games since entering the NFL in 2012.
There is no question that it’s La’el Collins‘ time now. Either the Cowboys ride with him, or else. Collins, who turns 24 in July, caught the injury bug his first two seasons with the Cowboys. Entering his third season, Collins has 14 starts under his belt.
The first-round talent went from playing left tackle in college to left guard in the pros, and is now asked to try out the right tackle spot.
Forgive me here, but I’m a tad worried. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about Collins on the field, regardless of which position he puts his fingers down. Collins has passion and fire power. It shows on the field Sundays.
But there is no Ronald Leary to turn to. There is no Doug Free in the wings to turn to. And with the NFC East gunning for Dak Prescott, the right edge is worrisome. It’s not just Prescott who is worrying about a sophomore slump either; running back Ezekiel Elliott is looking to hold his crown too.
Are the Dallas Cowboys safe with Collins at right tackle? Time will tell whether he can keep the grass stains off Prescott’s jersey. Though Free turned into a flag machine, he helped usher the line to greatness with his leadership and play.
Collins has a chance to do the same. He isn’t Doug Free. And that won’t be a bad thing if he turns out to be better.