On Saturday the Cowboys surprisingly placed La’el Collins on injured reserved
Collins is one of the best right tackles in all of football, and the Cowboys will be without his services for at least three weeks thanks to new rules for the injured reserve list heading into the 2020 season.
Such unwelcome news isn’t ideal to hear less than a week before the regular season begins, and despite having an adequate replacement available in Cameron Erving, there is no pound-for-pound substitution for Collins. Per longtime Cowboys insider Mike Fisher, “La’el Collins has had a conditioning problem all summer and — having missed Friday practice — now he has a legit short-term IR injury…which is the plan.”
Can the Cowboys survive a couple of weeks without one of their best offensive linemen?
Dallas opens the season against the Los Angeles Rams and Aaron Donald. That doesn’t bode well for a normally-cohesive offensive line, despite that fact that Donald will be attacking the inside linemen rather than the tackles. The Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks pose more reasonable challenges, but neither is a push-over.
The Cowboys are at their best when they can establish the run and create ideal passing situations for Dak Prescott who, while due a massive contract sooner rather than later, cannot necessarily beat elite defenses without help. Collins provides that support on the right-hand side, which while not Prescott’s blind side, has to be comforting to Dak knowing a five-year starter (when healthy) is standing in the way of a near-certain loss of yardage.
Erving is fine, as he started eight games for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs just last season. But there’s a reason they let him walk. The sooner Collins can come back, the better.