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Is Chaz Green Set For a Collins-Like Climb?

The Dallas Cowboys added two offensive linemen in two different ways during the 2015 NFL Draft. First, they shocked many in the football world by drafting Florida Gators offensive tackle Chaz Green in the third round. Then, after the draft had concluded, they signed LSU Tigers offensive lineman La’el Collins as an undrafted free agent. While Green started his 2015 season with hip surgery, Collins immediately climbed up the depth chart, impressing coaches, players, and fans alike en route to his first game action week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. During that fateful week 2 showdown which saw the first of two collarbone injuries to Tony Romo, Collins split time with veteran guard Ronald Leary.

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Is Chaz Green Set For a Collins-Like Climb?

The Dallas Cowboys added two offensive linemen in two different ways during the 2015 NFL Draft.

First, they shocked many in the football world by drafting Florida Gators offensive tackle Chaz Green in the third round.

Then, after the draft had concluded, they signed LSU Tigers offensive lineman La'el Collins as an undrafted free agent.

While Green started his 2015 season with hip surgery, Collins immediately climbed up the depth chart, impressing coaches, players, and fans alike en route to his first game action week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

During that fateful week 2 showdown which saw the first of two collarbone injuries to Tony Romo, Collins split time with veteran guard Ronald Leary. Leary had been the starting left guard for all of the 2014 season, and had performed well when given the chance.

The Cowboys just couldn't deny Collins, however, as he continued to impress and dominate at the line of scrimmage, earning the starting job over Leary for their week 7 matchup with the New York Giants.

La'el Collins has now cemented himself as a key piece to the "Great Wall of Dallas."

Or as Inside The Star's RJ Ochoa named them, the "Space Cowboys."

//insidethestar.com/space-cowboys-the-dallas-offensive-line/

No matter what you may call them, we all know just how great and how young this offensive line is. Each starter up front will be under 25 years old come week 1, except for right tackle Doug Free.

Free is a nine year veteran, who has carved himself out a nice niche among the Cowboys offensive line. However, time is passing Free by, and many are looking to a new young-gun to fill his role.

Enter Chaz Green.

Green spent most of the 2015 season injured or on the scout team. But, the Cowboys' staff is apparently pushing for Green to challenge Doug Free for his starting right tackle spot as early as this season.

Bryan Broaddus on Twitter

They are going to push him to try and beat Free out. https://t.co/Dqoy50sWj3

Free was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the 25th best offensive tackle in the league last season, which is certainly not a ringing endorsement. While Free's play has at times been inconsistent, his experience and veteran presence for the Cowboys cannot be understated.

If the 24 year old Green were able to beat Free out for his job, similar to how Collins beat Leary out for his, it would lower the Cowboys average age for their starting offensive line to just 24 years old.

That would make them the second youngest in all of football, while still being the best run blocking unit in the NFL.

Yeah, it would be something special.

Green hasn't shown the public much during his short time in Dallas, and it certainly hasn't been enough for me to predict this Collins-like climb to become true.

Unlike La'el, Green was not highly touted coming into the league, and was not thought of as a potential long term starter.

Leary is, by my account, a better player than Doug Free just as Collins is a better player than Chaz Green. So while Green and Collins are two completely different beasts, the climb for Green would be much less steep.

The best scenario for Green may be to put pressure on Free as best as he can this year, while filling the "swing tackle" role, and show that he can be the starting right tackle in 2017 and beyond.

Either way, the Cowboys are going to give Chaz Green every opportunity to prove he was worthy of his third round selection.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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Cowboys to Use 5th-Year Option on Ezekiel Elliott’s Contract

Jess Haynie

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Ezekiel Elliott, Rams

To nobody's surprise, the Dallas Cowboys intend to exercise the fifth-year option on star Running Back Ezekiel Elliott's contract. This will keep Zeke signed with the Cowboys through the 2020 season.

The deadline for teams to use the options years on the draft class of 2016 is Thursday, May 2nd, just a few days following the 2019 NFL Draft.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on the team eventually exercising the fifth-year option on Ezekiel Elliott's contract: "Obviously we're gonna do it.

It's appropriate that Stephen said "obviously," because there is no reason for the Cowboys not to utilize this provision. It's one of the perks of drafting a player in the first round; the option does not apply to any other rookie deals.

Right now, the 2020 option year projects to pay Elliott around $10 million. That is a bargain considering other franchise backs like Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell, and David Johnson are all now averaging $13-$14 million per season.

In fact, it may be more of a discount than Zeke is willing to give. He may very well holdout if the team doesn't give him a new contact closer to his market value.

For all we know, the Cowboys have every intention of doing just that. This move is little more than a formality; a placeholder that prevents Elliott from entering unrestricted free agency in 2020 and secures his rights while a new deal is negotiated.



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Connor Williams Adding Size and Strength Huge for Cowboys OL

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

It's no secret that heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, the book on Connor Williams coming out of Texas was that he didn't have enough length to play tackle in the NFL and didn't have enough bulk to play guard. At least not at first.

It was an issue we saw play out early in the 2018 season as he struggled with some of the more powerful defensive tackles. He struggled so much that the team went to Xavier Su'a-Filo during his injury and for a couple games after he was healthy, thinking they had a better option. After having a bit of time to sit back and watch, Williams came back into the starting lineup with a better feel for that power and was much improved over the last half of the season, including the playoffs. He never relinquished his job again.

Though he played better, it was obvious what his number one offseason focus would be; adding size and strength. According to Dallas Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones, he's done just that.

Speaking to 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday afternoon, Jones gave us some insight into how Williams is looking this offseason.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on offensive lineman Connor Williams, last year's second round pick: "My understanding is that he's taken some huge steps in terms of his strength and size. My understanding is that he's put on some really good weight.

Jones then added some lofty expectations on the second year guard from the University of Texas.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan: "I think Connor Williams is gonna be a mainstay in our offensive line for many years to come. ... I think we'll be talking about him just like we do several of the other players on our offensive line.

Connor Williams was already proving himself capable of standing up to powerful defensive lineman as late in the season and in the playoffs, but this is very encouraging to hear as we look to 2019.

Against the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams, Williams and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys interior offensive line had big challenges in front of them. Seattle's Jarran Reed and Los Angeles' Aaron Donald were two of the better defensive tackles in 2018. Donald, is considered by many, the best defensive player in the NFL because of his brute strength that is matched by his quickness.

Against both players, Williams performed well. Not perfect, but well enough to be encouraged about what Williams could bring in 2019. Per Pro Football Focus, he only allowed five total pressures during the playoffs, including one in the divisional round against the Rams. There's a reason that everyone is so high on Williams heading into his second year.

The front office included.

Stephen Jones praise is significant. The Dallas Cowboys feature three All-Pro offensive lineman. To say that "we'll be talking about him just like we do several of the other players on our offensive line" is very high praise. There aren't many teams in the NFL that boast as much talent along the offensive line as the Dallas Cowboys do in Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Travis Frederick. For Jones to think Williams cold be that level of player doesn't sound like generic front office speak.

With a full year under his belt, including two playoff starts, Williams should be confident heading into his second year. Adding strength and weight will help him anchor better against the strong interiors he'll face weekly in the NFL. Getting Center Travis Frederick back in the lineup will help him with the mental aspect of the game.

There's a lot to be excited about with the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 and the offensive line remains one of those things. How Connor Williams improves from year one to year two will be one of the major storylines throughout the offseason heading toward week one. The Cowboys offensive line remains a focal point for America's Team and all eyes will be on Williams as he looks to make the second year jump.



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La’el Collins Has Surgery Ahead of Contract Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

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La'el Collins

The list of injured Dallas Cowboys players getting surgery keeps getting larger. DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones will welcome La'el Collins to the "surgery recovery" group chat after Collins had a procedure to repair a torn rotator cuff.  According to the report from Forth-Worth Star Telegram, Collins suffered the injury at the end of the 2018 season.

La'el Collins expects to be ready for training camp, but don't expect much from him in the upcoming offseason program.

For Collins, this is a very meaningful season. At 25 years old, he's heading into a contract year in 2019. So far, his career has been decent at best. He began playing at guard, where he showed some pretty impressive flashes before moving to right tackle, where he's started since 2017.

Even before it was reported that he would have surgery, many in Cowboys Nation have wondered about his future. The truth is, since he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015, his career hasn't lived up to the hype. Prior to the 2015 NFL Draft, an off-the-field misunderstanding made every team pass on him. However, he was seen by many as a top prospect in the class and was a projected first round pick.

Although he improved when Marc Colombo took over as the OL coach, Collins has struggled during his time at right tackle. At this point, he hasn't earned a long term deal.

La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Right now, the Cowboys should see offensive tackle as a need in the NFL Draft. Not a priority one, but definitely one to watch out for in the later rounds. Tyron Smith is 28 years old, but his injury history doesn't look promising at all. I can definitely see this team addressing the lack of depth at the position at some point in Day 3.

This whole discussion raises yet another question. Would the Cowboys trade La'el Collins? I don't think it would happen, but it doesn't sound like a terrible idea either. At the moment, Cameron Fleming is on the roster and he isn't a bad starter. Now granted, he might be a downgrade from Collins. However, if you're able to get a good draft pick in exchange, it's worth considering. Use Fleming as a bridge player between for a younger one down the line.

Connor Williams could also move over to tackle, although I doubt they want to try experiments like this with a young player just like they did with La'el Collins. Let Williams grow as a guard and keep him there.

La'el Collins or not, the Cowboys have a need at offensive tackle and Collins' makes it even more evident. The good news is he expects to be back by training camp and doesn't seem like a huge question mark for week 1 as DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones do.

Tell me what you think about "La’el Collins Has Surgery Ahead of Contract Year" 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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