Dallas Cowboys

Rookie LG La’el Collins expected to make his first start

Left guard La'el Collins (71) is expected to make his first start for the Cowboys on Sunday.
Left guard La'el Collins (71) is expected to make his first start for the Cowboys on Sunday. Star-Telegram

Rookie La’el Collins will start at left guard Sunday, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones made the announcement on his weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan.

The heralded undrafted rookie has never started a game.

Collins was inactive for the season opener, but alternated with Mackenzy Bernadeau last week in Ron Leary’s absence. Collins played 43 snaps to Bernadeau’s 42.

Collins quickly figured out there is a difference between the preseason and the regular season.

“There’s definitely a difference,” he said Friday. “You’re going against guys who have been doing this for years and years. I think the biggest difference is these guys don’t make false steps. These guys know exactly what they’re doing, so you’ve got to know exactly what you’re doing, and you’ve got to beat them to the punch. I think that’s the biggest difference from the preseason to the regular season.”

Leary missed last week’s game with a strained groin, and although he returned to practice Thursday, he was limited in his two practices this week. The Cowboys list him as questionable.

Collins was asked about the prospect of starting for the first time.

“I haven’t even gotten that far yet,’’ Collins said. “When the time comes we’ll definitely see what happens. I’m pretty excited. The work is done. I’m prepared and I look forward to going out there this weekend.’’

 

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