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Terence Steele to Remain Cowboys Starting Right Tackle Over La’el Collins

Right La'el Collins is active once again after a five-game , but he may not be taking the field as a starter this Sunday.

Terence Steele, who filled in for Collins during his absence, will be the starting versus the Vikings on Sunday night. This comes as a surprise to many fans, as even though Steele has been a welcome surprise this season, the consensus has always been that Collins would return to the starting lineup.

When asked about the change, Steele said “Whatever helps the team succeed is what I want.”

This is no cause for Collins to sound the alarm, though. Mike McCarthy noted that he would practice at both right tackle and left with the reserves while Steele was with the first team. Collins has played both in his college and NFL career, so it's not a completely new change for the six-year veteran.

In his 2015 rookie season, Collins started 11 games at left guard. With Steele's impressive play this season, the Cowboys may be paving a path for Collins to take ' job as left guard.

As for Collins losing his right tackle job of five seasons, Coach McCarthy mentioned maintaining “continuity,” and he may have a point. The Cowboys have won five games in a row, and with a hobbled Dak Prescott, it's imperative the is on the same page this week. McCarthy acknowledged Steele's performance after announcing the change.

“You've clearly got to recognize how well Terence has been playing,” he said.

In 365 snaps this season, Steele has only three and zero allowed. Momentum is important, and it seems that's what the Cowboys are focused on.

Nevertheless, Collins' talent is undeniable, and McCarthy and crew are unlikely to leave him on the bench for long. Whether he returns to right tackle or moves to left guard, the Cowboys offensive line will be bolstered. For Collins, it's likely not a matter of if he'll start again, but a matter of when.

What do you think?


Written by Preston Moore

Preston Moore is a lifelong Cowboys fan and entertainment/sports reporter. He graduated from Oklahoma State University's Sports Media program and is currently completing his master's in journalism at New York University. You can find him on Twitter at @prestoncmoore.

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  1. Keeping Steele in over Collins is a mistake…. Yes, Steele has been playing good, but he is NOT Collins…. Collins is way better!! And trying to move Collins to guard is a mistake too, I know technically it’s his natural position, but I remember how good he was at guard and it wasn’t that good, he’s definitely way better at RT than he is at guard!! Collins is a pro bowl caliber player when he plays at RT, so why mess that up!? I understand they’re using continuity as an excuse, but if they wanted continuity then Collins would come back as the clear starter cause he’s the one that’s played that position for the last 5 years, while Steele has only played there for maybe 14 games all together including last year!! It seems like if you wanted continuity, you would go with the one that has the most experience with this line and that’s Collins, not Steele!! I sure hope Collins goes along with this plan and don’t get pissed off and ask for a trade, we can’t lose him!!

  2. Don’t forget he did have hip surgery and playing lg means less stress on that hip. Also with the Cowboys being over the cap next season and CW commanding a big increase being a FA it makes sense to leave Steele at rt and move LC inside.

  3. VAM – I think if a player was vehemently opposed to a position change, that would probably factor into the decision. I’m pretty sure LC would rather stay at his natural RT position, where he has played at a near pro bowl level.

    that said, the coaches need to do what is in the best interest of the team. Plus with the recent actions of LC how much clout does he have right now? I think Steele is better then CW (not sure how much though) But he does play a more difficult and important position though.

    How much clout does LC have right now, considering his recent shenanigans?

  4. gary b, not sure LC has to be “receptive”. Unless I am missing something, cannot the team just TELL him where they want him to play. He started with the Cowboys at guard, was switched to T when Doug Free retired.

    Maybe the question is who is better CW or TS? Then whoever is the weaker link, LC would replace.

    Thoughts on this O-line puzzle anyone?

  5. LC is obviously more talented then CW but a couple of questions to consider. Would LC be receptive to making a position change (he may not). His best position is Tackle. We know that and he knows that. Which begs the next question, How good of a Guard would he after not playing the position since 2015? I guess the 3rd question is what would it do to the continuity of the OL which is so important.

    Putting the “best five” on the field isn’t as much a no brainer as it sounds. Many more things to consider, besides that. The fact that the cowboys are even considering it is a good sign. Something about his team./organization that just feels different this year.

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