Once Jerry Jones got personally involved, it was over. Even if there were more ideal landing spots for LSU‘s La’el Collins, once the owner and assistant head coach of the Dallas Cowboys turned on the charm the youngster had no chance.
Unless you have experienced the polar vortex of persuasion that is Jerry Jones, you cannot imagine what this man’s charm and personality can do. He can convince the prized left tackle in the draft to sign with his team despite the reality that not only is he not guaranteed a starting spot, but that he won’t even play left tackle for this team any time soon, if ever.
According to a great scoop by Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram, the Cowboys signed the rookie free agent Collins to a three-year deal on Thursday.
This means the Cowboys won the 2015 draft. Adding Collins gives the team three players rated in the top 20 to 25 on most 2015 mock draft boards: Collins, first round pick Byron Jones, and second round pick Randy Gregory. Gregory dropped to the second round because of major concerns about his character.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
Collins was considered a top-10 pick. He dropped because teams were scared away by his potential involvement in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend, and her unborn child. Although he was never considered a suspect in her death, all hurdles were not cleared until he took a paternity test that said he was not the father.
Unfortunately for Collins, this was right before the start of the draft. No team selected Collins, making him the most highly sought-after rookie free agent in recent memory. He met with several teams, and on Wednesday night he met with Jerry at his house in Dallas where several other high ranking members of the organization, as well as Tony Romo, were there to help on the recruiting pitch.
Part of the pitch, according to a story from Fox 8 in New Orleans, was that Jerry told Collins he wanted to build the best offensive line in NFL history. The pitch obviously worked. Collins signed a three-year deal that will allow him to become a free agent earlier than the normal rookie contract.
From a talent standpoint, the Cowboys could have three starters from this draft right away. And the best offensive line in the NFL just improved. What speaks to Jerry’s ability to talk is that Collins comes to the Cowboys without the assurances that he will start right away, or that he is the heir apparent to the left tackle spot - the highest paying job on an offensive line.
As good as La’el Collins is, he is not going to move Tyron Smith from the left side.
It is thought that Collins will begin his career at guard, and move to right tackle after the 2015 season. He played both guard and tackle at LSU. But he will have to fight with veteran Ronald Leery, who is no bum, for the guard spot. And it is highly doubtful that veteran Doug Free will lose his spot to a rookie so quickly.
The point is - Collins’ chances of starting right away are much less so with the Dallas Cowboys, but he came here anyways.
Make no mistake, he did so because of Jerry and his polar vortex of persuasion.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760