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Potential Ripple Effects of RT La’el Collins’ Contract Extension

Brian Martin

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Potential Ripple Effects of La'el Collins' Contract Extension

While nearly all of us were anxiously awaiting news that the Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott had finally mutually agreed-upon a contract extension, an extension agreement with Right Tackle La'el Collins surprisingly materialized. As Gomer Pyle would say "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise… Gall-lee".

I don't think anyone outside of the Cowboys organization could have accurately predicted La'el Collins was in line for a contract extension. I believe many of us thought it was a foregone conclusion he and the Cowboys would part ways after his contract expired at the end of the season. But now he's locked up long-term through 2024.

It's a pretty surprising move on the Cowboys part and it will surely have some ripple effects, whether good or bad. All of that remains to be seen right now though, but it is something I want to dive into a little bit and discussed today. Let's take a look…

What Happens to Connor Williams and Connor McGovern?

Connor McGovern

Dallas Cowboys OG Connor McGovern

The first ripple effect that could be felt from La'el Collins' contract extension is along the offensive line, particularly as it pertains to Connor Williams and Connor McGovern. It was speculated that these two youngsters would be the beneficiaries after Collins' contract expired in 2019. That doesn't seem to be the case any longer, so what now?

Many of us believed Connor Williams would slide over to RT next season with Collins gone and then Connor McGovern would take over at LG for Williams. Now that No. 71 is staying it no longer seems logical. This creates a number of questions that will likely go unanswered until 2020. Will Williams and McGovern be competing against one another to start at LG? What happens to the odd man out?

Luckily, that's really the only shakeup along the OL that should be impacted by Collins' contract extension. The rest of the offensive line is signed through 2023 except for Zack Martin, who is signed through 2024 like La'el. That means four out of five of the Cowboys starting OL is locked up for the foreseeable future, which is good news for guys like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.


Less of the "Money" Pie to go Around

La'el Collins' contract extension may have created an extra $5.7 million in cap space this season, but the long term impact could have quite a ripple effect for other players looking for an extension from the Cowboys. Dallas currently has five or six players in line for an extension and an argument could be made each one of them are deserving. Who stays and who goes now that Collins got his?

Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott (for now), Byron Jones, Maliek Collins, and Anthony Brown are all players the Cowboys would like to keep, but at best only half of them will be lucky enough to stick around. I may be wrong, but I think each and every one of these players could be harder to replace than a right tackle. But, that's neither here nor there now.

The Dallas Cowboys will definitely have some tough decisions to make as to who they decide to give contract extensions to in the next few years now that they've invested even more money into their offensive line. It could mean they have to say bye to someone like Byron Jones, who played like a true shutdown corner last season. Although, if he plays like he did last year he could end up being out of their price range anyway.

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These of course are only a couple of the ripple effects La'el Collins' contract extension could have on the Dallas Cowboys. Good or bad, this is a signing they will have to live with for the foreseeable future now that he's locked up long-term. Only time will tell how this move will impact the team in the future. All we can do now is just cross our fingers and pray this was the right move to make.

What do you think of the La'el Collins contract extension?


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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Dallas Cowboys

Loss to Minnesota Could be the Final Nail in Jason Garrett’s Coffin

Brian Martin

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Vikings Loss Could be the Final Nail in Jason Garrett's Coffin

The 2019 NFL season kind of seemed like a do or die situation for the Dallas Cowboys current Head Coach Jason Garrett. He is currently in the last year of his contract and his future with the Cowboys organization could be hanging in the balance, especially after the devastating loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

If Jason Garrett isn't extended beyond this season, this loss to Minnesota could possibly be where his career with the Dallas Cowboys started to circle the drain. There are still several games left on the Cowboys schedule this season, but this one loss could be the one that ends up knocking them out of the playoffs. If that's true, it's hard to believe JG will be retained.

Jerry Jones, and son Stephen, have both fully supported Jason Garrett since he became the Cowboys full-time head coach back in 2011 after serving as the interim HC for Wade Phillips in 2010. That's nearly a decade of the Jones' sticking by JG through all of the thick and thin over years. That unwavering support however could be coming to an end though.

The proof is in the pudding as they say. As a head coach Jason Garrett is slightly above average according to his all-time win/loss record. His regular-season record as the HC with the Cowboys is 82-62 (.569) and he's 2-3 (.400) in the postseason. Add all of that up and he's 84-65 (.564) in his career… slightly above average.


Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

If I know anything about the Jones', I know getting the Dallas Cowboys back to the promised land as one of the best teams in the NFL is at the top of their list. That's why we've seen them over the years take chances on players other teams wouldn't in order to put together the most competitive roster they possibly could. Now that attention might need to be shifted from the players to the head coach.

Much like the Jones', I've supported and stood by Jason Garrett over the years. That support is dwindling though after each and every loss this season, at least on my part. Personally, I'm ready to find some new blood and move on. What the Jones' end up doing though is completely up in the air.

I want to believe the Dallas Cowboys are ready to move on from JG, but I'm not completely convinced. The fact that his current contract is about to expire after the season suggests they're at least considering parting ways, but that's all it does. I think how the rest of season turns out after the devastating loss to the Vikings will end up determining his fate.

If JG somehow sneaks the Cowboys into the playoffs it could save his job. That unfortunately is no easy thing to do with the teams they have left to play this season. Because of that, the Week 10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings could end up being the final nail in Jason Garrett's coffin.

What do you think? Is it time to part ways with Jason Garrett?


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Game Notes

Lions QB Matthew Stafford’s Status Still Unknown for Cowboys Game

Jess Haynie

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Matthew Stafford, Lions

The Dallas Cowboys are headed to Detroit this Sunday for a Week 11 meeting with the Lions. As Dallas tries to get back to winning games, they may get a boost from the absence of Lions' Quarterback Matthew Stafford. After missing last week's game with a back injury, Stafford's status for this week remains unclear.

Stafford was a limited participant in practices all of Week 10 for Detroit and went into their game with the Chicago Bears as a game-time decision. He was ultimately ruled out due to fractures in his back; the first start Stafford's missed for the Lions since the 2010 season.

Jeff Driskel got the start as the Lions fell in Chicago. He is 1-5 as an NFL starter overall, going 1-4 in games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018.

The Lions are now 3-5-1 on the year and at the bottom of the NFC North. They are also far behind in the Wild Card race, which leads to speculation that they could shut Stafford down for the season to preserve his long-term health. Based on Matthew's contract, the earliest Detroit can easily get out from his contract is after the 2020 season.

For his part, Matthew Stafford has said he has no plans on staying out this season as long he's medically cleared to play. He certainly would love to be active this Sunday against the Cowboys, the team of his youth, after playing his high school football in Dallas.


Even if Stafford plays, Dallas has done solidly overall against opposing quarterbacks in 2019. They are sixth in passing yards allowed per game and 14th in opponent passer rating.

Detroit is fourth in passing offense right now in the NFL but that was based on eight games with Stafford at QB. Jeff Driskel will not perform at that same level, and the Lions' rushing attack has been very weak since Kerryon Johnson went on injured reserve.

We'll see in the coming days if Matthew Stafford is at practice for Detroit and to what extent. But even if he does practice some, as he did last week, it could once again be a last-minute decision for the Lions if Stafford actually plays on Sunday.

With the Cowboys desperate for a win, they'll take all the help they can get.


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Dallas Cowboys

The Time has Come to See More of Tight End Blake Jarwin

John Williams

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Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin Owns the New York Giants, Again

When Jason Witten made his triumphant return from the Monday Night Football booth to the Dallas Cowboys' locker room, the addition was met with a bit of reserved optimism. On the one hand, it was awesome to get one of the best players in the history of the franchise back on the field and in the locker room. On the other hand, it meant that he would eat into the snap counts of Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz, or any rookie they potentially drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Though, upon arrival, the Cowboys and Witten stated the future Hall of Famer would only play roughly 25 snaps a game, it didn't take long to figure out that Witten was the starting and full-time player at tight end. In training camp, Witten got a majority of the first-team snaps. In the first nine games of the 2019 season, Witten's played nearly twice as many snaps as Blake Jarwin.

It's an unfortunate turn from the narrative we were being fed in the offseason as Blake Jarwin provides a receiving dynamic that no other tight end for the Dallas Cowboys can. He's quicker, more agile, and has much more athleticism than Jason Witten.

On a per snap basis, Blake Jarwin is offering more in yards per snap and in yards per route run. Jarwin has accrued 0.811 yards per snap to Jason Witten's 0.711. Basically, if you prorate Jarwin's yards per snap total of 0.811 to Jason Witten's snap count of 475, Jarwin would theoretically have nearly 50 more receiving yards than Witten while providing another downfield threat to the passing game.

If we look at yards per route run, Jarwin's outpacing Witten 1.97 to 1.37 per Pro Football Focus. If you were to give Jason Witten's number of routes run to Blake Jarwin and prorated based on Jarwin's production in 2019, he would have roughly 484 receiving yards or 150 more receiving yards than Jason Witten.


Obviously, Jarwin's still got some development that needs to happen as a run blocker to be able to get on the field more. The Cowboys coaching staff, however, has still elected to roll with Jason Witten over Blake Jarwin even in pass-heavy situations as we saw on Sunday Night Football. This is the first game of the year where the Cowboys needed to be in heavy passing mode, but they continue to keep one of their more athletic weapons on the sideline when they need to get chunk plays.

Jarwin's ability to attack up the seam can help open everything up for everyone else in the offense. Just having another vertical threat on the field can create space for Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb underneath.

Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff isn't going to flip their snap counts anytime soon, but the time has come for Blake Jarwin to get more of the situational passing work. When the Cowboys get into obvious passing situations -- 3rd and longs or in two-minute situations -- Blake Jarwin needs to be the tight end on the field.

We've seen each of the last two weeks what Jarwin can do once he gets the ball in his hands. Against the New York Giants, he ripped off a game-changing 42-yard touchdown run and catch. On Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, Jarwin had a big 26-yard reception that helped get the Cowboys going offensively.

Jason Witten will go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. It's time he and the coaching staff recognizes that the Dallas Cowboys could be an even more dynamic offensive team by getting the more athletic Blake Jarwin on the field more.


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