That’s the best way to describe Cowboys right tackle La’el Collins in 2019. The young tackle had by far his best season to date, putting himself in the category of those other elite linemen (Zack Martin and Tyron Smith) across the Cowboys offensive line. In fact, at times he was better than those guys.
La’el Collins did not earn All Pro honors in 2019, something which only four tackles in the entire league can be named to. But much more egregiously, he was snubbed from the 2020 Pro Bowl as well.
According to Pro Football Focus, Collins was the fourth best offensive tackle in all of football last season. No, not the fourth best right tackle, the fourth best tackle. Period.
Of course, it’s hard out here for the right tackles to get the love they deserve. Old school football knowledge says that your left tackle is your more important tackle, and if there’s a top draft prospect on the right side we immediately wonder why he hasn’t been moved to the left.
But in today’s league, it pretty much doesn’t matter which side you are protecting. Both sides are filled with monsters on the defensive side of the ball.
Khalil Mack and the Cowboys own DeMarcus Lawrence both rush from the left side of the defense (right tackle side) for example, and they are two of the most feared pass rushers in all of football.
Typically, popular culture in the NFL is a year late on praising a player. Collins was fantastic in 2019, and if he can keep up his ascent this season, there will be no denying him his first Pro Bowl in the Winter of 2021.
That is, if we’re even allowed to have the Pro Bowl.