La'el Collins: Cowboys' OL going to be best in NFL history
Collins — a former LSU offensive tackle who went undrafted last weekend as Baton Rouge, La., police investigated the murder of his ex-girlfriend — signed with the Cowboys Thursday. The 21-year-old Collins was widely projected to be a first-round draft pick but reportedly signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $1.65 million contract with the Cowboys.
Collins joins an offensive line that, before his signing, was expected to start (from left to right) Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Doug Free. Last season, the Cowboys finished fifth in scoring offense (29.2 points per game) and seventh in total offense (383.6 yards). Head coach Jason Garrett said Thursday that Collins can play guard and tackle.
"This is going to be the best offensive line in NFL history," Collins said. "Mark my words."
Collins, a three-year starter at LSU and first-team All-SEC selection in 2014, said he first got a call from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones "a couple nights ago," and their conversation was the "first time I thought someone had seen me for who I am."
Collins says his Wed. night meeting with Jerry, Tyron, Romo, etc., had one of the biggest impacts he's ever experienced.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) May 7, 2015
Jerry says, emotionally, that La'el's mom said Collins has been hit hard. "I wouldn't want to be in his way."— David Helman (@HelmanDC) May 7, 2015
Garrett calls Collins "mature beyond his years, tough beyond his years."— David Helman (@HelmanDC) May 7, 2015
- Mike Fiammetta