The Dallas Cowboys' defensive linemen room will be loaded in 2018, filled with names that will build a very strong unit and haunt opposing offensive fronts week after week. DT Maliek Collins, who's heading into his third season in the NFL will be one of those names. Unfortunately, his season will begin with a bit of a challenge.
For the second time in his career, he'll miss a big part of the offseason. Although there's still not a clear timeline for his injury, a surgery will likely be required soon.
Sources: #Cowboys DT Maliek Collins suffered a broken foot today while participating in the offseason conditioning program. A timeline is not yet clear for the starter.
Maliek Collins has been a very important player for this team's defense, even though he's not widely known in the NFL landscape. Out of 32 career games, Collins has started in 30. A former third-round pick out of Nebraska, he's managed to get 7.5 sacks and 27 tackles in his two years playing for the Cowboys.
For Collins, a foot injury is anything but new. In 2016 he broke his right foot and was able to get back on the field before the season started.
Maliek Collins broke his other (right) foot in June two years ago, had surgery and made it back before the end of training camp. So, a Week 1 return this time would seem to be a realistic target. We'll see. #cowboyswire
It's never good to hear about a player getting injured. Even still, it's slightly better if the player is expected to return for the regular season. Hopefully, Maliek Collins is able to gear up in September.
In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys hosted Defensive Tackle Terrell McClain this week, hoping to get him back on the team and fill a need that wasn't addressed in the Draft. McClain had a pretty good season in 2016, before he ended up playing for the Washington Redskins in 2017.
After being released by their NFC East rival, the Cowboys showed interest in the 29-year old DT. Bringing in McClain, who had a very good year in 2016 simply makes sense for Dallas. Despite trading for Jihad Ward, they still need help at the position. McClain not only fits, but has found success wearing the Star.
Unless he's asking for a ridiculous contract, I don't see why the front office wouldn't decide to use some of the cap space that they have available to get the former Cowboy back on the team.
Having Collins, McClain, Ward, Jones and Irving at defensive tackle will be a very fun thing to watch during the 2018 season, and something Cowboys Nation should be very excited about. Here at Inside The Star, will continue to update you about Maliek Collins' status, Terrell McClain's free agency and everything about your Dallas Cowboys!
Report: Center Travis Frederick Undergoing Shoulder Evaluation
After missing the team's walkthrough this morning, it is being reported that Dallas Cowboys starting center Travis Frederick is having his shoulder evaluated due to multiple stingers. According to reports, Frederick has been dealing with stingers all training camp, and the Cowboys are unsure what is wrong with his shoulder.
Frederick rarely misses any practice time at all, and has not missed a start since he entered the league in 2013. He's the catalyst of this offensive line, and will be greatly missed if his injury is severe enough to make him miss regular season game time.
Jason Garrett says Travis Frederick is getting his shoulder looked at in Los Angeles. He's been dealing with stingers. No update behind that #cowboyswire
Joe Looney has been tasked with replacing Frederick for the time being, taking first team center reps during today's walk through and practice.
Given how meaningless Saturday's game is, I'd expect Looney to start at center against the Bengals this weekend as well. Hopefully the evaluation reveals that Frederick's issues are not serious and he will be ready for game one, but consistent stingers will always make fans fear for the worst.
Cowboys G Marcus Martin Needs Surgery; Impact on 53-Man Roster
Marcus Martin, the veteran guard Dallas signed as a free agent last March, suffered a potential season-ending injury in the team's preseason opener last Thursday night. Just how long he'll be out is still be determined, but it still should impact the Cowboys' final 53-man roster this season.
Martin tore ligaments in his right big toe against the 49ers. However, as of yesterday, it was not decided if he would pursue surgery.
The Cowboys don't expect backup OG Marcus Martin to play this season after he tore ligaments in his big toe in the preseason opener, but he's seeking a 2nd opinion before deciding whether to have surgery. Martin signed a 1-year deal with Dallas as a free agent this offseason.
A former third-round pick in 2014, the 24-year-old was brought in as a potential reserve at both guard at center. He was still in competition with Joe Looney and others for a roster spot, though, and his minimal one-year contract suggested nothing was guaranteed.
Even if Martin doesn't have surgery, he is almost sure to miss the start of the season. Dallas would likely place him on injured reserve, but still have the option to recall him after Week 8.
Marcus' absence all but guarantees that Looney will return in 2018. This will be his third year in the system and his ability to play center is critical.
In my 53-man roster projection last week, I had both Looney and Martin making the team. So if I had that right, that means a spot has opened up for probably fifth-year veteran Kadeem Edwards, who was playing with the second unit in the preseason opener.
The notorious Chaz Green, who has played guard at times, could also be the beneficiary of the open roster spot.
Damien Mama, an undrafted free agent in 2017 who Dallas added this offseason, is the only other guard currently on the roster. We should get to see more of him as the preseason continues.
Marcus Martin's availability, or lack thereof, and how it ultimately impacts the roster will be determined in the coming weeks.
LB Jaylon Smith 100% Healthy Entering 2018 Season
If you need any more reason to be excited about the Dallas Cowboys upcoming 2018 season, then look no further than their 2016 second-round draft pick, Jaylon Smith. His comeback story from the devastating knee injury he sustained in his last collegiate game at Notre Dame has been well-documented, but recent news suggests his journey has finally come full circle.
Once considered a top-five pick, Smith saw his draft stock plummet due to concerns he may never be able to step foot on the field ever again. Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys were willing to gamble he would be able to make a full recovery and once again become the player he was with the Fighting Irish.
The long and grueling rehab process couldn't have been easy to endure. Jaylon Smith was forced to pretty much redshirt his rookie season and played on a pitch count Year 2 while he continued to rehab, waiting for nerve regeneration that may never fully heal.
Luckily for him, he joined a team with a really good support system both on and off the field. A support system that just so happened to include his brother, Running Back Rod Smith. It's that support system that could have made a huge difference in his approach to rehab. An approach that may have finally paid off.
All reports indicate Jaylon Smith is 100% healthy once again, or as close to it as possible. Rod Smith, his brother, said Jaylon is back to being as good as he was at Notre Dame. Jaylon however said he is even better than he was. But, they are not the only ones weighing in on Smith's health.
Scouting Director Will McClay went on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio Monday morning and declared LB Jaylon 100 percent healthy from the injury he suffered in college that kept him out his rookie season in 2016 and had him on a pitch count in 2017.
Will McClay isn't the only one that has noticed a difference in Jaylon Smith. Head Coach Jason Garrett has said Smith has grown leaps and bounds from last year and are treating him like a player with no limitations.
"Again, he worked hard in his rehab. Coming into this off-season he was able to take that brace off. I think that's freed him up a little bit," Garrett said.
"And he just looks much more natural. So again, you'll have to ask him that very question, but from our point of view, he looks like he's moving around really well, changing direction really well, making a lot of plays. I think he's gaining more confidence with each day. We really don't have a plan for him right now. He's full-go and ready to practice every day with no limitation."
All of these accounts certainly make it sound like Jaylon Smith's arrow is trending upwards and that he is as healthy as he has been since joining the Dallas Cowboys.
Luckily, we don't have long to see him in action. I don't know about you, but Thursday night when the Cowboys take on the San Francisco 49ers in the Week 1 of the NFL Preseason can't get here soon enough.
Are you excited to see a 100% healthy Jaylon Smith this season?
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