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.
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.
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.
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.
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.