Much has been made of the La’el Collins focusing exclusively at right tackle this off-season after spending the first two years in the NFL at guard.
And with good reason.
The Dallas Cowboys want to put the best five offensive linemen on the field in 2017 and right now that means targeting Collins at right tackle to hopefully replace the retired Doug Free and Jonathan Cooper at left guard to go along with left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin.
“That is probably my preference of how I would like it to end up,” Jones said. “You just want to get your very best on the field at the same time.”
All of this could change, considering the Chaz Green and free-agent signee Byron Bell will also compete at the tackle spot.
And there remains a question of what Cooper can do considering he was the former first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, his previous stops.
“[Collins] is working that right tackle spot right now,” Coach Jason Garrett said. “Jonathan Cooper is working that left guard spot. Again, it’s really early. Those guys will have a chance to show us what we’re capable of doing. We’ll see over time who’s the best and who fits where.”
Collins at tackle is intriguing because he played tackle in college at LSU before playing guard with the Cowboys the past two seasons.
The Cowboys believe guard is his best position, but his athletic ability gives him the position flex to fill the need that best fits the team.
“His skill set really matches right tackle characteristics,” Jones said. “He’s very powerful. He’s fortunate. He’s does have the ability to play both positions. I think just his athletic ability; his ability to have the size he’s got and move it around makes him a very exceptional talent.”