A touching video of Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La’el Collins taking 20 kids from the Boys & Girls Club on a holiday shopping spree is circling social media. This is a heartwarming scene coming from a guy who quarterback Dak Prescott has nicknamed the “Enforcer” of the Cowboys.
For Collins, this is his way of giving back to the generosity he received as a kid. Collins told the Dallas Morning News that growing up in Baton Rouge, LA, he was part of many organizations similar to the ones he was helping this week. When he was 10-years-old, he was in a program that allowed children to enter a huge auditorium filled with donated toys, where they got to pick a few for Christmas.
At 11, he attended a football camp led by Warrick Dunn, a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award recipient. Dunn stressed the importance of giving back to the young players. That stuck with Collins, and he was quoted in the Dallas Morning News article about the event saying:
"“It always just stuck with me. I always said, if I ever got into a position to do something and give back, I wanted to keep that going. This is special. This is my Christmas gift to myself.”"
The tackle hosted a bowling fundraiser on Monday that raised money to support 100 families before the holidays. He gave out 40 $250 gift cards to families in Dallas and another 40 to families in his Louisiana hometown. In the video below, he plays around with the kids he was able to take on a shopping trip to a local Academy Sports + Outdoors store in Garland, TX. They were there for nearly two hours.
Cowboys Offensive Tackle La’el Collins’ generous deed shows another side of him
Most people were likely caught off guard by this video. Collins has been making headlines in the league this season, but not for sweet things like this. In September, he was suspended for five games for missing league drug tests. He never tested positive for any illegal substances, but he was a no-show for mandatory testing.
More recently, he was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys Week 15 matchup against the Washington Football Team. Collins took matters into his own hands when Washington’s William Bradley-King hit Prescott after the quarterback threw a ball near the sideline. Collins immediately approached Bradley-King and threw a punch shortly after. Given his run-ins with the league (and the NFL’s not-so-preferential treatment of the Cowboys), many were wondering if Collins would be suspended for the punch.
After the 27-20 victory, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Collins did “exactly what you’re supposed to do there.”
Prescott also praised Collins and said he was appreciative of the big man’s protection. The quarterback even offered to pay the fine, if the NFL were to give him one.
After an “interesting” start to his NFL season, this video paints a much better picture of the offensive lineman. Let’s hope these kids gave him some advice on playing nice so that he can continue to help out a struggling offense.