Cowboys right tackle La’el Collins had a breakout 2019 season of sorts. Once caught between guard and tackle, Collins officially made himself at home on the right side last year, looking primed for a Pro Bowl campaign in 2020.
Instead, Collins will miss at least the first three games of the season with a hip injury, forcing Cameron Erving into a starting role.
Erving comes to the Cowboys from Kansas City, where he played in 13 games for the Super Bowl champs a year ago. The Cowboys looked to add Erving this offseason due to his experience across the entire offensive line, making him an attractive swing tackle option before Tyron Smith and La’el Collins.
Erving played nearly 600 snaps at left tackle for the Chiefs last year, giving the Cowboys hope he couple replace Cameron Fleming in their system. Despite his experience level, Cameron Erving has not lived up to his original first round hype, and seems like a step back from Fleming’s ability to provide a spot-start.
One anonymous NFL executive told The Athletic that the Cowboys should be highly concerned about Erving starting the next three games, saying that all you have to do is turn on the tape to see how big of an issue he will be for this offensive line.
“You can go turn on some Chiefs film from last year and see if you are willing to back that horse…He is a liability.”
There’s no question that Cameron Erving is a step down (or a couple) in starting quality from La’el Collins. But how concerning should this be for Dallas?
I don’t see this becoming a Chaz Green situation, but there’s no question Dallas should be thinking of how to help Erving on every pass set. If he’s left on an island all night it has the capability to get ugly for him real quick. And, traditionally, Dak Prescott has had more of an issue sensing pressure from that right side of the line.
Cameron Erving at RT for the Cowboys is going to be a problem. Let’s just hope it’s not a disaster.
Still, I expect Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore to figure this out. Even with some question marks on the offensive line at right tackle and center, the Cowboys have too much talent on offense to become stale or stagnant.
This is a team that should be able to throw to get leads, and run to close games. Even with a backup right tackle in for a few starts.