The one area that’s flush with talent and depth in Dallas is the offensive line. The Cowboys have seven starter-caliber players along that unit, including talented second-year guard La’el Collins.
Collins, a first-round talent heading into last year’s draft, saw all seven rounds pass without him being selected. The sole reason for this was an off-field situation that he had absolutely nothing to do with (more on that here).
Once Collins signed with the Cowboys, it became apparent that he’d find playing time early in his career. The LSU product eventually took over for Ronald Leary at left guard, directly leading to Leary requesting a trade.
Now, just over a month remaining until the regular season kicks off, one report is indicating that the Cowboys are open to moving Collins for some help on the defensive side of the ball.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) August 4, 2016
This would make sense for a number of reasons. Trading from a position of strength to help upgrade a weakness will always be the right move.
Dallas is without defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory for the first four games of the season after both were suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Meanwhile, Dallas decided not to retain troubled free agent Greg Hardy.
Needless to say, pass rush is going to be a major issue for this team in 2016. After all, the team’s top returning defensive end that’s actually slated to play Week 1 (Jack Crawford) recorded all of four sacks a season ago.
Depending on what Dallas is asking for, finding a trade partner might not be too difficult. While pass rush is at a premium in today’s NFL, so is elite-level interior line play. At 23 years old and with All Pro upside, Collins represents just that.