In his very short time since deciding to join the Cincinnati Bengals, former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La’el Collins seems extremely happy with his new home. A few hours after the Cowboys released the OT as a post-June 1 cut on March 17, Collins hopped on a flight to Cincinnati. He went to the mall, he met with the coaches, he was reached out to by over 10 members of the team, and he ended the following day with a dinner at quarterback Joe Burrow’s house.
At dinner with Burrow, several Bengals were present to enjoy cupcakes and crackers. Collins said that (not the cupcakes and crackers, I presume) sealed the deal for him. Since agreeing to join Cincy, Collins has been a quote machine. The first thing he said to Burrow after the agreement was, “your new body guard’s in town, no one’s touching you.” That quote quickly went viral.
But in his first press conference with the Cincy media, Collins had much more to say. It seems Chidobe Awuzie isn’t the only former Cowboys player who feels there are issues in Dallas. Ahead of the Super Bowl, Awuzie told the press he was glad to play football with a championship caliber team that didn’t need all the bright lights.
Now, Collins is saying that this deal wasn’t even about the money to him. It was about winning. Essentially, the OT is implying that winning championships wasn’t happening with his former squad. He also made sure to emphasize that he meant the ‘S’ at the end of the word. In his presser, Collins is smiling from ear to ear and seems to be happy as a clam about his new team. It’s a bit concerning to have two former Cowboys say they feel that the focus in Dallas isn’t necessarily on championships.
Former Cowboys OT La’el Collins said he chose Cincinnati because he felt he could win championships with the Bengals instead of Dallas
To be fair, it’s obviously easier to see winning a championship when the team you’re now on just went to the Super Bowl last year. However, most people felt like the roster the Cowboys had in 2021 was one of the best they had in a while. People felt 2021 was Dallas’s chance to go far in the playoffs for the first time in a long time. Yet, Collins still didn’t believe that was the place to win a Lombardi Trophy.
Collins was asked many other things including how he feels about facing the Cowboys during the 2022 season – a game he admitted he didn’t know was happening. His response was much kinder to Dallas than expected:
"“Dallas that’s been my home for the last seven years. That organization has been special to me, been great to me. It’s no animosity. It’s nothing but love. I’ll be a Cowboy for the rest of my life. I gave them a lot. So, for me anything that’s not orange and don’t have those stripes on them when it comes game day, then at the end of the day if you’re in the way, you’ve got to get moved out of the way. That’s just the bottom line. It doesn’t matter who it is; it doesn’t matter where we’re at; it doesn’t matter what time we play. That’s the mindset each and every week from me.”"
It will be interesting to see what happens when the Cowboys and Bengals meet.