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La’el Collins Wants to Finish Career in Dallas, is that Realistic?

John Williams

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Cowboys at Raiders: La'el Collins Faces Toughest Test Yet In Khalil Mack

The Dallas Cowboys offensive line has been one of the better groups in the NFL since the 2014 season as they've constantly found ways to replenish the line with talent after starters walk in free agency or retire. La'el Collins originally replaced Ronald Leary as the team's left guard before bouncing out to right tackle the last two seasons.

Though he's had some ups and downs over the course of his career, he's been a solid player and has had some excellent games against some of the top pass rushers in the NFL. The 2017 game against the Oakland Raiders and Khalil Mack comes to mind. In that game, primarily matched up with Mack, Collins didn't allow a sack or a quarterback hit in the game according to Pro Football Focus.

His ability to play with strength in the run and pass game has helped the Dallas Cowboys continue to have one of the best offensive lines in football after mainstay Doug Free retired after the 2016 season.

Yesterday, Charean Williams, who has covered the Dallas Cowboys for two decades published a story on Pro Football Talk that discussed Collins' desire to remain with the Dallas Cowboys for the remainder of his career.

In the piece Collins mentioned his "love" for the Dallas Cowboys and Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones. It was Jones who signed Collins as an undrafted free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft that saw Collins drop from being a sure-fire first-round pick. Because he was interviewed and connected to the murder of an ex-girlfriend, the NFL was hands-off until after the draft and Collins' name was cleared. Jerry Jones signed him to a rich UDFA contract and then extended Collins prior to the 2017 season and his first full season at right tackle.


The Dallas Cowboys and the coaching staff have shown a lot of faith in Collins since coming out of LSU, so there's always a possibility he takes a reduced rate to stay with the Dallas Cowboys out of "love" and respect for the Dallas Cowboys and the Jones family.

It's expected that when Collins becomes an unrestricted free agent in the 2020 offseason that he'll have an opportunity to land a big-time contract on the open market. When tackles come available, they get paid, because they don't come available very often. Only because the Cowboys have already invested the most money in the NFL in their offensive line, is it a possibility for Collins to leave in free agency. With Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick locked up through the 2023 season and Zack Martin through the 2024 season, the Dallas Cowboys have already invested a ton in their premier offensive linemen.

A plan appears to be in place for Collins succession as the Cowboys spent their third-round draft pick on Connor McGovern. It looks as though if Collins is allowed to leave in 2020 that 2019 starting Left Guard Connor Williams would slide out to right tackle with McGovern taking over at left guard.

La'el Collins is one of the better right tackles in the NFL and if he continues to play like it will likely play himself out of Dallas to a well deserved and lengthy contract. There aren't many opportunities for NFL players to hit a pay-day so when those opportunities arise, they generally take advantage and cash in. As we sit here in July of 2019, it seems very unlikely that Collins will be a member of the Dallas Cowboys in 2020.

Nothing is impossible in the NFL and as we've learned with the Cowboys and Jerry Jones, surprises are around every corner.


Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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Safety Darian Thompson Set to Start in Place of Injured Jeff Heath

John Williams

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Safety Darian Thompson Set to Start in Place of Injured Jeff Heath 1

Dallas Cowboys Safety Jeff Heath has been a starter for the defense since the beginning of the 2017 season. A streak of 35 games is likely coming to an end for Heath as he's been dealing with a shoulder issue this week. What this means for the Dallas Cowboys is that Darian Thompson, who's been filling in for the Cowboys as Heath's dealt with injuries each of the last couple of weeks, is set to start for the Cowboys this week against the Detroit Lions.

Thomspon, a former third-round draft pick of the New York Giants is finally getting an opportunity to play full-time with the first unit since coming to the Cowboys before the 2018 season. He's primarily been a special teams player as Xavier Woods and Heath have manned the safety spots but has been solid over the last couple of weeks. This will be Thompson's second start of the season after he filled in for Xavier Woods against the Miami Dolphins back in week three.

Against the New York Giants, Thomspon recovered a pivotal fumble that was forced by Xavier Woods that helped turned the tide in that game in the second half. In the Giants game, Thompson played 56% of the snaps and he played 80% of the defensive snaps against the Minnesota Vikings.

He's made some plays over the last couple of weeks piling up two stops per Pro Football Focus. PFF defines a stop as a tackle that prevents a play from gaining enough yardage to be deemed a successful play. In the passing game over the last two games, Thompson's been targeted three times and has only allowed one reception that went for seven yards.

Though he missed a couple of tackles last week against the Vikings, a lot of Dallas Cowboys missed tackles in week 10. Dalvin Cook is one of the more difficult players to get to the ground.


Thompson's challenge this week will come in the passing game against the Detroit Lions plethora of receiving targets.  Defensive Backs Coach and Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard expressed confidence in Thompson's ability to fill in for Heath because of his mental and physical makeup.

While it's intriguing to see what Thompson has to offer, many who follow the team continue to wonder when Donovan Wilson will get the chance to play.

Wilson's preseason was as good as you could hope for from a rookie. He had three interceptions playing part-time snaps in four preseason games. The Cowboys have been in desperate need of a guy who has the knack for making plays on the ball that Donovan Wilson showed in his limited playing time during the preseason.

Thompson, with more years of experience under his belt is the more trusted option right now for the Cowboys and he has an opportunity to carve out a role with another start this week. Though he may not be the safety that we've been clamoring for, this could be a net positive for Dallas this week and moving forward depending on how he plays. How the defense looks with Darian Thompson in the lineup will be one of the big questions facing the Cowboys secondary in this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.


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Report: Cowboys G Connor Williams to Undergo Arthroscopic Knee Surgery, Expected to Miss a Few Weeks

Matthew Lenix

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Report: Cowboys G Connor Williams to Undergo Arthroscopic Knee Surgery, Expected to Miss a Few Weeks

The Dallas Cowboys received a bit of bad news today. According to ESPN's Todd Archer, Guard Connor Williams will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday.


Todd Archer on Twitter

Connor Williams will have surgery on his knee Tuesday but the hope is he will be able to return after a few weeks. Xavier Su'a-Filo will likely move into the left guard role, which is how the Cowboys handled Williams' absence last year because of a knee... https://t.co/M55eVtYCIJ

Williams suffered the injury in Sunday's 28-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. This is a minor procedure but will keep Williams sidelined for a few weeks. Backup Guard Xavier Su'a-Filo is expected to fill in during his absence, just like he did in 2018 when Williams missed time with a knee issue. More to come.


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Report: Cowboys’ WR Amari Cooper Expected to Practice Friday

John Williams

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Good News: Amari Cooper Expected to Practice Friday

 

Per Todd Archer from ESPN, Amari Cooper's MRI didn't reveal any structural damage in his knee and was diagnosed with a bruised knee. Cooper's now expected to practice on Friday as the Dallas Cowboys get ready to play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Amari Cooper is expected to practice Friday and play Sunday against Minnesota after an MRI revealed he has a bruised knee, according to a source. Cooper was examined by the team doctors on Thursday and did not practice after being listed as a limited... https://t.co/jNps7m7ThL

This is excellent news for the Dallas Cowboys. Since acquiring Cooper from the Oakland Raiders last year, his presence has made a huge difference. There's been a noticeable difference when Cooper hasn't been in the lineup and they can't replicate his ability on the field in the slightest. He changes everything for Dak Prescott and the passing game.

Cooper's been dealing with minor injuries since training camp and has had to miss time in some games, sitting out nearly all of the loss to the Jets. Getting Cooper back the next week against the Philadelphia Eagles had a huge impact on the outcome of the week seven game. While Michael Gallup's taken a huge step forward in 2019, he hasn't proven to be capable of flying solo as the lead receiver for the Dallas Cowboys.

Against the Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys offense will need to get off to a hot start and click on all cylinders against the Vikings number four ranked defense.

Good News: Amari Cooper Expected to Practice Friday 1

From Pro-Football-Reference.com

Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper have had an excellent connection in Cooper's now 17 games with the Dallas Cowboys. He's averaging 5.6 receptions for 83.9 yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. His per 16 game average would be 89 receptions for 1,342 yards and 11 touchdowns. Those are elite numbers in a really good passing game.


The Minnesota Vikings pass defense is only allowing 225 passing yards per game. Against the likes of Julio Jones, Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Allen Robinson, Alshon Jeffrey, Marvin Jones, and Tyreek Hill the Vikings have allowed 8.42 receptions for 93.85 and seven touchdowns.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, and Kansas City Chiefs in three of the last four weeks the Vikings have allowed 291.3 passing yards per game.

Amari Cooper and the Dallas Cowboys passing game could be in for a field day.

Each week, following Amari Cooper's injury status, is one of the most important reports. Getting good news on Cooper heading into the Cowboys final practice of the week on Friday is big news for the Cowboys in this huge NFC matchup.


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