Brandon Knight vs. Cam Erving: Who Replaces La’el Collins at RT?

Dallas Cowboys need either Brandon Knight or Cam Erving to step up.

It’s never easy to make final cuts after training camp to get meet the league’s mandated 53-man roster limit. This year was no exception for the Dallas Cowboys. They had to make some really tough decisions, none more so than deciding to place Right Tackle La’el Collins and Linebacker Sean Lee on injured reserve.

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Cowboys officially placed LB Sean Lee (pelvis) and RT La’el Collins (hip) on IR. They’re out for at least the first three weeks of the season.

This isn’t exactly the way the Dallas Cowboys would’ve liked to start the 2020 season. Both Sean Lee and La’el Collins are valued for the roles they were expected to play this year, although Collins’ absence for the time being is much more significant.

Depth wise, the Cowboys are in much better shape at absorbing Sean Lee’s time on IR then they are at offensive tackle. Losing a player like La’el Collins for any amount of time is a big blow to the Cowboys offensive line, especially considering the likely candidates to fill in for him… Brandon Knight or Cameron Erving.

Brandon Knight joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent last season and Cameron Erving was one of the free agent signings this offseason. One of them will now be asked to start at RT in the place of No. 71 for at least the first three weeks of the 2020 season. Who that will be has yet to be announced, however, Stephen Jones may have left a few breadcrumbs.

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Stephen Jones tells SiriusXM/NFL Radio on position battles: “With La’el being somewhat of a question mark its been good battle there for that right tackle spot behind him.”Jones said Cam Erving is showing up after a slow start due to health issues.

Although Stephen Jones hints there is a good battle taking place at RT, singling out Erving seems to suggest he might be the favorite to start Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams. It makes sense from an experience standpoint, but it doesn’t exactly mean he’s the better player. In fact, there are those around Cowboys Nation who are voicing their concern.

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Full scouting report on Cam Erving: good swing tackle unless he has to play. Then he is not a very good tackle based on last few seasons.

Bob Sturm is someone who is well respected around the Cowboys Nation and someone whose opinion I highly value. I also happen to agree with his “scouting report” about Cam Erving’s play the last few seasons. I think he plays better on the interior of the OL, but like I mentioned earlier he does have experience at OT as well.

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Cameron Erving at RT for the Cowboys is going to be a problem. Let’s just hope it’s not a disaster.

Marcus’ tweet hit the nail on the head in my opinion. We’ve seen what disaster looks like when a swing tackle is forced into a starting role * cough cough Chaz Green* and we don’t want to see a situation like that rear its ugly head ever again. Sadly, Cam Erving has that kind of disastrous potential within him.

With all of that in mind, I would personally feel much more comfortable with Brandon Knight filling in for La’el Collins until he’s able to return. I really liked what I saw from him last year when he was thrust into action. I just think he plays with more consistency, unfortunately I can’t say the same thing about Erving.

It’s going to be really interesting to see which of these two players the Dallas Cowboys turn to to fill in for Collins for at least the first three weeks the season. Whichever player they decide to start at RT may be in a short leash though. They simply can’t let one player let things turn ugly. Let’s just hope things don’t turn out that way.

Who do you think should replace La’el Collins while he’s on IR?

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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  1. Everything I’ve seen and heard about Cam Erving reminds me of Chaz Green!! I’d feel much better about our RT position if we started Brandon Knight!! He actually played pretty good last season in the little bit of time he had to play!! And playing pretty good sounds a lot better to me than having another Chaz Green starting for us!!

    • I agree. Now I’m left hoping (actually expecting!) this staff to be quicker to adjust than Garrett ever was. I Erving starts to look Chaz-ish early in the game, I think they’ll be quick to give Knight a run.

  2. Is Brandon Knight actually healthy? I’ve read that he’s been dealing with injuries all through camp.

    If healthy, I’d take Knight over Erving. But, at this point, it may come down to who is heathier.

  3. If Collins is out for an extended period, does moving Conner Williams to RT and inserting Conner McGovern in his LG position make sense?

    • It does make some sense, but there’s an old adage of not disrupting two positions in an attempt to address one of them. I’m not aware of Williams getting any reps at a tackle this camp, but it could be a surprise tactic that Philbin/McCarthy don’t want to announce to the league.

  4. If pedigree counts for anything, C Erving is a former 19th overall pick in 1st round (2015) with extensive game exp. Including some at LT. Won a super bowl with Chiefs. B Knight was a UDFA signed by the cowboys last yr and has minimal game time exp. None of which means Erving is better of course.

  5. That’s a small sample size to gauge a player as inexperienced as Knight. Interesting options u presented VAM hopefully coaches are keeping that in their back pocket.

  6. gonna be that much more urgent for dak to get thru his progressions and hit coop-gallup-ceedee-jarwin or take advantage of pollard/zeek in passing game. With all the weapons any mismatch must be attacked quickly so opposing team’s LDE can’t burn fleming.

  7. Why is the conversation between Erving and Knight? All off season McGovern and Williams were mentioned for their versatility and college experience at T. Now it looks like Williams starting at RG and McGovern on the bench. If Erving is as unreliable as suggested, why is McGovern at least in the conversation?

  8. I’m guessing that Williams/McGovern starting has been discussed and may yet happen. Maybe they don’t feel McGovern is ready or maybe they don’t want Williams to change position (again). But nice that those two have versatility and we have that option in the event Erving doesn’t work out

    • The thing you have to be careful with when moving a guy is how does that impact the continuity along the offensive line.

      I think it’s easier to try a Brandon Knight or Cam Erving at RT vs move Connor Williams to a spot he hasn’t played in a few years and then have to replace his spot at LG.

  9. Agreed. Plus all versatility talk is about the ability in dire circumstances to have a player moved to a “new” position. The OL is a different dynamic in that regard than say a Y-receiver moving to the slot, or a CB moving to safety. If Collins were to be out for an extended period, then you may very see Williams/McGovern getting a lot more consideration. Additionally, I’m sure there’s some ego involved … for example, say it maybe coach Philbin convinced this team to sign Erving and now he needs to prove he made the right call …

  10. I get not wanting to move two guys, so leave Williams at RG … It doesn’t change the question of McGovern who played OT all through college and why such a high pick is riding the bench behind a penalty waiting to happen in Erving

  11. For starters, Erving was a higher pick than McGovern. Secondly, McGovern has yet to even take a snap in an NFL game. Lastly, as far as playing OT in college, he did not play tackle. He played his freshman season at RG. Sophomore year he played the entire season at Center. Junior year consisted of 12 games at RG and 1 game at Center. Then he entered the draft. So your essentially way off base with your evaluation of his OT playing capabilities. Make sense now?

  12. Ridiculous how willing folks are willing to spew stuff out here as if it’s undisputable and fact without thinking they will be checked out called out! Write in a manner that shows your opinion, but don’t write in a manner that tries to set your football acumen above others … only to be incorrect. Now your remarks hold no water and only razor doubts.

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