One game into the season, and second-year left guard La’el Collins has already matched the number of holding penalties he had in 12 games as a rookie.
Collins was flagged twice for holding Giants defensive lineman Olivier Vernon on separate drives in the fourth quarter, and each time the Cowboys had to punt. Collins wasn’t happy with himself for committing the penalties.
“Absolutely, man. It’s not in my style of play, not in my game,” Collins said. “I don’t feel like I need to hold anybody, so I figure I just need to put myself in a better position as far as how I block my guys and try not to be too overly aggressive. Sometimes it can get me in trouble.
“It’s really just cleaning up technique. ... I’ve just got to make that better read and don’t give the ref even an opportunity to throw the flag.”
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The first penalty seemed more obvious than the second to the naked eye. Collins borderlined tackled Vernon on the first one, and then appeared to do just enough to draw the second flag.
“Second time, I was blocking him on an angle, which he was more turned toward me and my hands were showing because I hadn’t covered them up,” Collins said.
Coach Jason Garrett said the holding penalties were “big plays” that went against the Cowboys late in the game, and something that can’t happen going forward. But he also praised Collins for “playing the right way.”
“He plays with a physical mentality,” Garrett said. “He’s a good run blocker. He’s a very effective pass blocker, and he’s still growing and learning as a player.”