The Dallas Cowboys threw another wrench in the offseason discussion on Thursday afternoon. NFL’s Ian Rapoport reported that the team is having “active trade conversations” about offensive tackle La’el Collins. The six-year Cowboy, who is set to earn $10 million in 2022, is now on the proverbial chopping block. It is likely that the front office is considering trading Collins to free up extra cap space. Rapoport said that they have interest from multiple other organizations.
The 28-year-old has spent his entire career in Dallas and now joins names like Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence on the list of players the Cowboys may be willing to let go of. It’s probable that the reason the Cowboys are considering trading Collins is due to his injury history and off-the-field issues.
It all started in 2015 when he was associated with a double homicide in Baton Rouge during his time at LSU. Collins was also suspended for multiple games in 2021 after violating the league’s substance abuse policies. Deemed “The Enforcer” of the team, the offensive tackle was also ejected from a game against Washington in December for throwing a punch to protect quarterback Dak Prescott. Luckily, he wasn’t suspended for the punch.
Although Collins missed only one start from 2017 to 2019, his durability is also an issue. The tackle only has two full seasons in his six years as a pro. He missed three games in 2016 with a foot injury, and he missed the entire 2020 season with a hip injury. In this league, durability can be just as important as skill, and the team needed him in his several absences.
NFL’s Ian Rapoport says that the Dallas Cowboys are in talks to trade OT La’el Collins due to interest from multiple teams
Collins is skilled at his position and several teams across the league are in need of talented offensive linemen. Dallas would be smart to use his skills to try and gain early draft picks or great players across the league. You can’t really blame a team struggling with cap space for shopping the market with a guy who hasn’t always been reliable. But they would be wise to make sure the trade is worth it.
So what would happen if the Cowboys traded Collins? Terence Steele would likely be his replacement. Steele was undrafted out of Texas Tech and has 27 starts in his first two years with Dallas. Veteran Ty Nsekhe is also on the roster, but he is scheduled to hit free agency on March 16.
The Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, and Carolina Panthers are all teams who would get an immediate upgrade by adding Collins. But what are they willing to give in return? Is this a smart move or another mistake by Jerry Jones and Co.?