La’el Collins Minor Injury Creates Major Cowboys Problem

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - We’ve made the case that this 2020 Dallas Cowboys roster has but a few weaknesses, among them backup offensive tackle.

Suddenly, that problem has moved itself to “first-team offensive tackle.”

Standout right tackle La’el Collins has largely been sidelined for the bulk of training camp due to what CowboysSI.com has repeatedly reported is a “conditioning issue.”

But on Saturday - NFL cutdown day - comes a troublesome update: Collins now also has a hip problem that according to ESPN figures to land him on the league’s new short-term IR list.

That’s not a full-blown disaster; Collins (and as many other Cowboys as need to, including Sean Lee) can come back to the active list after just three weeks.

But in the meantime, Dallas is left grab-bagging at right tackle, with the on-paper best candidate, veteran offseason signee Cam Erving coming off a less-than-stellar camp, young backup Brandon Knight battling his own injury issues, and undrafted rookie free agent Terence Steele as ... well, an undrafted rookie free agent.

An optimist would paint this as nothing more than roster-building puzzle pieces fitting together. After all, with Collins and Lee among the candidates to go to IR, spots open up for Cowboys special-teams helpers Justin March and C.J. Goodwin to boomerang back to the roster. (There is more shuffling to come here, including an add of a DB like Brandon Carr.)

it can also be argued that Dallas will survive this because of the powerful O-line presence of Collins mates Tyron Smith and Zack Martin.

But the chain reaction of incidents - including the possibility that Collins developed a hip injury as a result of a lack of conditioning - Is for now anything but positive.

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