2019 was a breakout year of sorts of Cowboys offensive tackle La’el Collins.
Once a first round prospect who the Cowboys stole in 2015, Collins moved between guard and tackle during his first couple of seasons in the league. He finally settled into a home at right tackle in 2017 and has been the full time starter there the past three seasons. In those seasons we’ve seen Collins grow as a pass blocker, while maintaining his relentlessness as a run blocker.
Still, 2019 felt like a peak of sorts. He was able to display consistent footwork as a pass blocker, earning an 86.4 grade from Pro Football Focus while giving up just two sacks the whole season.
La’el Collins spoke with the media on Friday, making sure to say that his “peak” 2019 was just the beginning.
Cowboys RT La’el Collins: “I feel like my most successful years are ahead of me. I feel like last year was just a scratch of it, just the beginning.”
Collins had missed practice lately after being involved in a minor car crash, but he participated in parts of the team period on Friday. With Tyron Smith returning as well, Friday marked the first time during camp that the expected starting five all took team reps together.
When together, Collins and guard Zack Martin make up arguably the best right side in all of football. Dallas has a massive hole to fill at center as they look to replace Travis Frederick, so Collins, Martin, and Smith will all need to be on their games this year.
If Collins is healthy and back in playing shape there’s no telling how good he can be in 2020.