Cowboys Move La’el Collins to Right Tackle with a Shot to Win the Starting Job

The Cowboys have moved left guard La’el Collins to right tackle, giving him a shot to win the job vacated by Doug Free, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

While the Cowboys caution things could change before the season opener in September, Collins relishes the opportunity to move back to tackle.

“Oh, man, it’s awesome actually,” Collins said during the team’s 13th annual Taste of the NFL to tackle childhood hunger. “I actually forgot how good it felt to be out on the edge, to kind of be out there on an island. Right now we’re not doing too much, just kind of working plays against the air. That’s about it. But it feels good.”

Collins, signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015, started at left guard his sophomore season at LSU before moving to left tackle his final two seasons in Baton Rouge. He began his pro career at right tackle as a rookie in the Cowboys’ off-season program while Doug Free was rehabbing from off-season surgery.

Free retired after the 2016 season, ending a 10-year career and leaving big cleats to fill.

“That’s huge pressure. That’s a lot of pressure,” said Collins, who has 14 career starts. “You’re out on that island. Doug was overlooked a lot, but Doug was a hell of a player, man. Ten years in the game. Even though he was hurt — you know he was hurting — he always said he felt great. That’s one thing you learn from an older guy like that and respect that. He was a great player, man.”

“I just kind of feel like I can play anywhere,” Collins said. “I feel like I can play all positions other than center. I don’t know if I can do that. Travis [Frederick] has got a tough job. It’s harder than it looks. I really feel like I can play anywhere.

“I have the mentality of I don’t care where I’m at, whoever’s in front of me I’m going to move them off the ball and that’s how it’s going to be. That’s the way I feel.”


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