Dallas Cowboys rookie La’el Collins is learning to play right tackle. It’s where he’s getting reps in the team’s organized team activities while Doug Free rehabs from off-season ankle surgery.
“It’s definitely a new position for me, so a new challenge,” Collins said. “I have to go out each and every day and focus on the small things – my technique, my assignments. It’s been a great two days for the OTAs.”
Collins, a first-round prospect who fell out of the draft and into the Cowboys’ lap as an undrafted free agent, played only the left side during his LSU career. He played 13 games at left guard and 26 at left tackle in college.
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“It’s everything,” Collins said of the adjustment, “because I had to switch over from playing pretty much left my whole career to right, so now I have to switch up my stance and really rewire my whole mind into where I want to go and when I hear the play calls and things like that.”
Collins, though, expects also to get work at guard. He eventually could compete with Ron Leary for the starting job at left guard.
“We think he has the physical ability to play a couple of different spots,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He was a tackle for most of his career in college but did play guard. We see him as a guy who can maybe do both of those things as he goes.
“The big thing for him is to try to get him acclimated as quickly as we can. So right now he’s going to play right tackle for us.
“He and Darrion Weems are competing at that spot in Doug Free’s absence, and we’ll just see how that unfolds. All those guys, having some position flex and some versatility on the offensive line is really, really important. He’s someone who’s demonstrated that in college and has the physical traits to do it at this level.”
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760