NFL Rumors: Cowboys nearing shocking (but genius) reunion after recent injury

Cincinnati Bengals v Dallas Cowboys
Cincinnati Bengals v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys blew a chance to sign defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, who predictably landed with the hated 49ers. While Johnathan Hankins is expected back for the playoffs, fans wanted to see the team beef up the trenches for the postseason to improve their run defense.

Suddenly, though, offensive line depth is a big concern. While Tyron Smith returned from his back injury to play in Week 17, left guard Tyler Smith completely tore his plantar fascia in Saturday's win against the Lions.

That's actually the best-case scenario for Smith, who has a chance to play in the Week 18 finale against the Commanders. It'll boil down to how much pain Smith is in, but it might be wise for the Cowboys to simply rest the ascending guard to ensure he's healthy for the first round of the playoffs.

Regardless, the Cowboys are running low on offensive linemen. With that, they're reportedly considering a reunion with an old friend.

Per NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, none other than La'el Collins will take a free agent visit in Dallas on Tuesday. The report notes that the Cowboys could sign Collins to the practice squad so the 30-year-old can get back into football shape.

NFL Rumors: Cowboys nearing reunion with former OT La'el Collins

Kicking off the new year with a surprise. While Collins didn't leave the Cowboys on great terms, there's an obvious benefit to bringing him back. In terms of available offensive linemen, Collins might be the most proven of the bunch.

Collins hasn't played since the end of the 2022 season after he tore his ACL and MCL with the Bengals. He signed a five-year, $50 million deal with Cincinnati in 2022 after he was released by the Cowboys. The Bengals turned around and released Collins from the PUP list in September a year into his contract due to poor play.

He recently took a free agent visit with the Bills, but wasn't signed. It's unclear what kind of physical shape Collins is in, but he's now over a year removed from his ACL injury and he played left guard early in his career with the Cowboys.

That experience would come in handy with Smith battling through a painful injury. Not to mention, Terence Steele has struggled at right tackle, where Collins started for five of his six seasons with the franchise.

Who knows if it pans out, but it's an easy, risk-free move that could pay huge dividends with the playoffs on the horizon.

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