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Dallas Cowboys: Moving La’el Collins To RT Is A Mistake

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins

I know I'm going to be in the minority here, but I truly believe moving La'el Collins to right tackle is a mistake by the Dallas Cowboys. They've tried this experiment before when they signed Collins as an undrafted free agent, and determined then his best position was on the inside at guard. So, what has changed since then?

Well, Doug Free decided to hang up his cleats in the off-season, which left a void at the right tackle position. Many Cowboys' fans have openly celebrated Free's retirement, but they may sing a different tune once the 2017 season kicks off.

You see, Doug Free's retirement and Ronald Leary's departure via free agency has now created two open spots on the Cowboys offensive line. Yes, they still have Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin to anchor the OL, but Dallas' coaching staff is having to shuffle things around in order to find the best starting five.

I'm a firm believer that La'el Collins' best position in the NFL is at offensive guard. In fact, if not for the foot injury that wiped out nearly his entire 2016 season, he likely would have been named to his first Pro Bowl. That is why I believe he should be reinserted at left guard immediately.

You simply don't take a potential Pro Bowl caliber player from one position and put them at another one. But, it's starting to look as if that is exactly what the Dallas Cowboys are doing.

I think at best, Collins is probably an average right tackle in the NFL. I'm not even sure if he will be an upgrade over Doug Free. Collins couldn't unseat Free before, but now he's the best option? Does this not concern anyone else?

La'el Collins

(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

La'el Collins hasn't recorded a single NFL snap at right tackle in his career. But, fans are already sold on him as he starting RT, despite the fact the Dallas Cowboys haven't even put on pads yet. That's a lot of faith to put in someone who has yet to prove much of anything as of yet in the NFL, especially at right tackle.

Whatever the Dallas Cowboys decide to do with La'el Collins will likely shape the success the offense will have in 2017. This decision will impact every facet of how the Cowboys' offense operates. Yes, I believe it is that important.

Collins is the only player on the Cowboys roster who can play left guard and improve the position after Ronald Leary's departure. Anyone else is probably a downgrade, which impacts both the running and passing game.

I just don't really think there is any need for Collins to play RT. There are options available that I believe can play the position just as well. In fact, Chaz Green was drafted to take over for Doug Free. He is likely the best option if he can remain healthy.

I'm hoping that this is just a trial run the Dallas Cowboys are giving La'el Collins and that nothing is set in stone as of yet. I personally don't really like the move, but I understand why others do.

Fortunately, there is still quite a bit of off-season left to work things out. But, I for one am hoping to see La'el Collins lined up between Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith on the left side in 2017. I think it's what is best for not only Collins, but for the entire Cowboys' offense.

Do you agree or disagree?



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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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. I'm Okay w La'el @ RT

    June 14, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Personally, I think this is nothing more than homage to the ‘Versatility Gods’ that the Cowboys seem to worship, at least on the O line. BY TC they will have multiple players that can play both LG & RT to offset the injury bug.

    I don’t share your high opinion of Collins @ LG. He is not better than Leary @ that spot.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 14, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Collins was still developing as a LG. I think he would’ve ended up being better than Leary and been in the Pro Bowl conversation last season if he remained healthy. But, I agree that the Cowboys will have multiple players being looked at in training camp at LG and RT. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Travis Diggs

    June 14, 2017 at 7:37 am

    I believe even tho we have the best offensive line in the league, it was clear Doug Free was the weak link. So why would us as fans think Collins couldnt do better than him??? We have come accustomed to Chaz green injuries, Cooper was a first round bust, and Bell is fighting just to make weight incentives. Unless Cleary takes over one of the spots, We expect Collins to be the clear cut starter out right

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 14, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Travis, I agree with what you said, but I’m not sure Collins is better than Free. I do believe Collins is an upgrade at LG, but now he’s being looked at as the RT. I think the OG spot is more important to the running game and keeping the pocket clean for Prescott to step up and make a throw. I understand the optimism about Collins at RT, but I personally don’t see it.

      • Travis Diggs

        June 14, 2017 at 8:56 am

        I believe we have one of the best coaching staffs So i think they will put the best 5 guys out there If they believe Collins is well suited for Tackle I trust them. The only reason why he is out there is because of uncertainty of Chaz Green. Come training camp we will know

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          June 14, 2017 at 9:32 am

          Travis, I agree. I think Green’s health will ultimately decide what they do with Collins. Fortunately, there still a lot of off-season left to figure things out.

  3. Randy Martin

    June 14, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Your assertion is misplaced Brian. Your idea that he will not be good at RT assumes that he hit his ceiling his dokie year. You stated they tried it and it didn’t work. Well, let’s not forget he was a deer in the headlights rookie. There was some talk on one of shows that Bryan Broaddus is on before this move was even made that stated he is likely an all-pro guard and an average tackle but over time they seemed to change their time. I choose to believe that he needs reps and snaps, and he is improving physically in what is now his third year and he is more physically and mentally prepared for it. The beauty of OTA’s and training camp and pre-season is so that you can try these type of things and see if it will work. Do you believe that the coaching staff would purposely make a move such as this and leave it in place if they thought it would cause the offense to regress? Collins played tackle in college and I have every confidence he can play it in the NFL. Give it some time my friend. Its not like they can’t move him back to guard if it doesn’t work but based on early indications he has looked pretty good there.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 14, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Randy, I’m not saying that I don’t believe Collins could be a good RT. I just believe that he is a better LG and that it would benefit the Cowboys offense more. I think Chaz Green can play RT just as well as Collins if he can remain healthy. I think the best five OL is Smith, Collins, Frederick, Martin, and Green. But, like you said, only time will tell. There is still a lot of off-season left to figure things out.

  4. Anthony Ceniccola

    June 14, 2017 at 9:39 am

    i want to think that he can transition to RT, i understand his reach is the concern but he made a name as a tackle in college. I think he may eventually be an upgrade to free but it would have been a bigger uphill battle to be an upgrade to leary.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Anthony, I’m going to have to disagree. I think Collins is already an upgrade over Leary, although it may be just a slight one. He was just getting used to playing OG when he suffered the foot injury that wiped out his 2016 season. I’m not saying he can’t be a good RT, I just think he is a better LG.

  5. Kevin Black

    June 14, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I’m going with the opposite argument for Collins at RT. Collins was a solid LT in college and while he doesn’t project as a premier LT in the NFL, he was considered by some to be usable as a LT. Dallas prefers guards who are light on their feet and Collins gives them that. That quality is what also allows Collins to perform as a RT in this offense. With more and more pass rushers ending up going against the offense’s RT, this is probably the best move for Dallas. Finding a quality RT is much harder than finding a LG. On top of that, the RT is on a bit of an island, although you could have a TE help, that’s less than ideal. With the LG, you put them between two AllPro’s and gives you a bit of protection there that the RT doesn’t have.

    If Cooper can regain his form, which is a pretty big if at this point, then Dallas will win the Offensive Line Lotto once again. If not, there are enough bodies to help there. I don’t think the RT talent outside of Collins is dependable enough to not move Collins to RT. Green has shown he can do it, but he’s also shown he can’t stay healthy.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 14, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Kevin, that’s as good of an assessment as I’ve read anywhere. I’m not against playing Collins at RT, I just think he is more valuable at LG. I think Chaz Green would do just as well at RT as Collins, but his health is a concern. Fortunately we have the rest of the off-season to sort things out.

    • ThePsychodad69

      June 14, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Well they did get Columbo back to what they thought he could be, Leary for all the prognostication became a very good player, actually we will see if either Free or Leary were weakspots or if Parcells was right about not having steak on every plate, but a nice lamb chop or turkey leg isn’t so bad when you look at what the rest of the league puts on the table.

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        June 14, 2017 at 10:11 am

        Free and Leary were definitely weak spots, but who wouldn’t be playing with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin ha ha. I’m just hoping that whoever fills those two open roster spots on the OL isn’t a huge downgrade.

  6. ThePsychodad69

    June 14, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Just like moving LA to OT, not his best position but the best there now. If Green isnt wowing them @ guard his chances outside are even worse. IMO he wasn’t great and Zeke got on track once Leary got in, I thought he hurt it before the Giants game in practice, if so him playing probably finished it off.

    But why not give him snaps now and see what he can do, if he’s a reach come camp then we have a problem. Better if they find out now than 3wks into Oxnard.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 14, 2017 at 10:06 am

      The entire offensive line struggled in the early part of the season. It took them a little while to get going and it wasn’t just Collins that struggled. I have no problem giving Collins reps at RT right now, but I still believe his best position is LG. It’s good to get him snaps now, but I think the Cowboys are downgrading two positions if he stays at RT.

  7. tom

    June 14, 2017 at 11:44 am

    versatility is something they should explore for Collins. We know what we have in Green at RT and Bell is not better than Green. So why not try Collins at RT and Green at LG. If the experiment fails, put Collins back to LG. In the end, we need to see if Collins gets long term contract with $$$ freed up by Romo release. And teams pay more $$$ for RT than LG.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 14, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      The Cowboys coaching staff is definitely exploring their options, but in the end I still believe Collins is better at LG.

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Star Blog

Has the Time Come to Bid Farewell to WR Cole Beasley?

Brian Martin

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Has the Time Come to Bid Farewell to WR Cole Beasley?

It was inevitable that we would reach this point eventually. I warned Cowboys Nation back in May to prepare yourselves that 2018 might be the last time we see Cole Beasley in a Dallas Cowboys uniform, and indeed that could be the scenario that plays out. Now a free agent, Beasley is free to sign with any team of his choosing.

The Dallas Cowboys have however shown an interest in bringing Cole Beasley back in the mix. They supposedly offered him a contract extension before the start of the season, but it was a number Beasley scoffed at. To me, this suggests the two sides may have a difficult time mutually agreeing on the money amount it would take to keep him in a Cowboys uniform for what could be the rest of his career.

Being a fan favorite too many Cowboys fans, it would be hard for many of us to see Cole Beasley playing in a different uniform. But more than that, his productivity in the passing game and bond with Quarterback Dak Prescott would surely be missed and not easily replaced.

Cole Beasley, Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

As much as I hate to admit it, I have a hard time seeing the Dallas Cowboys extending Beasley's contract. Unfortunately, he's just not at the top of the list when it comes to handing out contract extensions. In fact, he could be at the bottom of the pecking order.

The Cowboys still have to extend DeMarcus Lawrence, Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott, and quite possibly Ezekiel Elliott and Byron Jones. All of these players are probably more of a priority than Beasley due to the positions they play and their age. That means No. 11 is likely the odd man out.

I'm not ruling out his return to Dallas just yet though. He may find the Cowboys previous offer was more than fair to the way other teams value him on the open market. That would certainly increase the possibility of him staying put and not having to uproot his family to another city.

There is no denying the Dallas Cowboys value Cole Beasley and what he brings to the passing game. His value may even rise a little now that Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan is no longer in the picture. A new OC definitely adds an interesting twist in determining Beasley's future with America's Team.

What do you think? Should the Dallas Cowboys extend Cole Beasley's contract?



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Star Blog

Cowboys Chill While Pats & Rams Set to Thrill

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Cowboys Chill While Pats & Rams Set to Thrill

If you were to check out the line on the Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, you might wander over to Sportsbook Review, where you could read a 5Dimes review and see what all the best online sportsbooks, first and foremost among them 5Dimes, are dealing on this intriguing matchup. Tom Brady and the Patriots, much to everyone’s chagrin outside the six New England states, are back in it – again – and are currently slight favorites over the emerging LA Rams.

In New England’s 37-31 victory over the Chiefs, the Patriots did what they always seem to do, which is rally late and win in dramatic fashion. It’s become almost a ho-hum experience in New England while the rest of the country bites on a bullet, cursing the embarrassment of riches and success that has been the standard of this Patriots’ franchise for two decades. But this was supposed to be the season that the dynasty would end after viewing Tom Brady’s often mediocre performances and his All-World tight end, Rob Gronkowski, hobbling up and down the field without the same reckless abandon as we’ve seen in year’s past. And then their only truly talented speed merchant capable of stretching the field, Josh Gordon, left the team under a cloud of suspicion.

Unfortunately for the rest of the nation, the Patriots' once porous defense coalesced into a rather stout unit and apparently, the two weeks between the end of the regular season and the start of the Patriots’ postseason was enough time for Brady to heal from his rumored sprained MCL that he had been dealing with in silence all season long.

Gronkowski must have also visited the same shaman as Brady because he looked as dominating as ever in ripping the Chiefs on every critical third-down throughout the final quarter. Finally, the conduit to much of Brady’s success, Julian Edelman, is now being mentioned as a Hall-of-Fame candidate when his run is done.

It’s all a bit much for everyone else, but not for Patriots Nation.

The LA Rams will be the Patriots’ latest foe on the league’s grandest stage as they have a burgeoning superstar in Jared Goff. Los Angeles tore through the regular season off of the golden arm of Goff and his Juggernauts, winning 13 of 16 and earning a first-round bye. Their first foray into the 2018 postseason was a 30-22 win over the determined but overwhelmed Dallas Cowboys. The Rams then traveled to the lair of Drew Brees and the Saints down on the bayou and came away with a 26-23 overtime victory.

However, had it not been for an inexcusable non-call, it is far more likely LA would be watching, rather than participating in this year’s Super Bowl. If you didn’t see it or hadn’t heard about it, then the question begs; why are you reading this article?

Of course, you know that LA’s cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman steamrolled New Orleans’ wideout Tommylee Lewis as Brees’ pass was descending toward Lewis inside the five-yard line. It was a penalty without a flag and that one blown call forced the Saints to settle for a field goal that pushed them ahead 23-20. Yet, there was still enough time on the clock to give Goff and his prolific Rams’ offense one last gasp at either tying the game or putting a dagger through the hearts of Saints’ fans everywhere with a touchdown in the waning moments.

It was the former and not the latter that occurred, but an errant pass by Brees in overtime sealed the deal as the Rams picked it off and ultimately ended the contest off the thunderous foot of Greg Zuerlein.

If you want to check out the line movements over the next two weeks for Super Bowl LIII then get on over to Sportsbook Review, read the 5Dimes review, and see exactly where the money is moving the spread as well as the total in the game. Buckle up Cowboys’ fans, it’s gonna get even more interesting as February 3rd draws near.



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Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?

Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli

El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.

Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.

Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.

Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.

En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.

Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan

Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.

Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.

A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.

Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.

Jerry Jones Delivers Vote of Confidence in "Real Deal" Jason Garrett

Head Coach Jason Garrett

El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.

Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.

Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.

Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.

Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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