La’el Collins is in a walking boot and needs a scooter to get around the Cowboys’ complex for now, but the second-year left guard hasn’t ruled out a return this season.
Collins underwent surgery on his right big toe earlier this month, and has been pleased with the progress he’s made. He expects to be out of the walking boot and off the scooter by the end of this week, and begin water therapy.
He’s holding out hope that he is able to return before the season ends.
“I don’t think that’s out the window right now,” he said. “We’ve just got to see how it goes, see how it’s feeling. I’m excited.”
Collins injured his toe in the Sept. 25 game against the Chicago Bears, and received multiple medical opinions on it before opting for surgery. The Cowboys placed Collins on injured reserve Oct. 4, and are allowed to bring back one player from IR during the season.
Collins would not be eligible to return until the Dec. 1 game at Minnesota.
This is a familiar injury within the Cowboys locker room. Linebacker Sean Lee and defensive tackle Terrell McClain had similar surgeries in 2012 and 2015, respectively, and missed the remainder of those seasons before returning healthy the following season.
“I talked to those guys right after we found out what had happened,” Collins said. “They were like, ‘Do everything the doctors tell you, stay off of it and let it heal up by itself.’ And they haven’t had any problems since they had the injury. I feel like it’ll be the same this way.”
Veteran guard Ronald Leary has filled in for Collins, and played well. Offensive line coach Frank Pollack said Leary could start for “any team in the league,” and hasn’t been surprised that the level of play hasn’t faltered with Collins out.
Collins views it the same way.
“It’s tough anytime you’re not out there on the field with your teammates giving them everything you got, but it’s been a great thing to see,” Collins said. “Just the way that the team has been able to put on a show week in and week out and execute, especially the guys up front. It’s an honor just to see the level of play doesn’t drop no matter where we are.”
Please, no Dickerson talk
Ezekiel Elliott is tired of hearing about Eric Dickerson.
“Uh, we’re going to start these Eric Dickerson questions again?” Elliott groaned last week when asked how much he knew about Dickerson.
Elliott better get used to it.
Elliott leads the league with 703 rushing yards, 116 yards more than Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy. Elliott, with a 117.2 yards per game average, is on pace for 1,875 yards. That would break the league’s rookie mark of 1,808 yards that Dickerson had in 1983.
“I’ve seen plenty of Eric Dickerson highlights,” Elliott said, without elaborating.
Elliott would rather talk about Doug Free, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, Ron Leary and Tyron Smith than he would Dickerson.
“Because it’s not important,” Elliott said of the rookie record. “You guys want to write stories about the rookie rushing record, and it’s about this team, honestly. It’s not about a record. That’s not what we’re focused on. We’re a team, and honestly I don’t want any attention being put towards that. It should be about this team, and it should be about these guys. It should be about our relationship. It shouldn’t be about records.”
But, he was asked, isn’t a rushing record about the whole team and for the whole team? Doesn’t it speak volumes about what the offense as a whole has accomplished?
“It would be, because it takes 11 guy. It would be our record,” Elliott said.
Staff writer Charean Williams contributed to this report.