The Dallas Cowboys might be forced to make a change to their offensive line as starting left guard La’el Collins is still suffering from a high ankle sprain, according to ESPN.
La’el Collins has been forced to miss two practices this week because of that high ankle sprain injury, and the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff have been putting together a backup plan.
For what it’s worth, La’el Collins told reporters that he is still hoping to be able to play against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, but coaches might just sit him to avoid the risk.
As of right now, the backup plan is to have Ronald Leary taking over the starting left guard position. Leary started 31 out of 32 games for the Dallas Cowboys from 2013 until 2014.
Ronald Leary suffered a groin injury earlier in the season, which was one of the reasons why La’el Collins was promoted in the first place, but he is said to be completely healthy now.
This should be a pretty smooth transition for the Dallas Cowboys because Ronald Leary knows the playbook very well and has experience playing alongside left tackle Tyron Smith.
Back when Ronald Leary was the starting left guard, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line was still regarded as, arguably, the best unit in the NFL. It wasn’t a downgrade.
The game against the Washington Redskins should be a great opportunity for Ronald Leary to convince the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to make him a permanent starter once again.
While La’el Collins has been doing a fantastic job at left guard, especially when he pulls to lead an outside run play, his long term future in the NFL is at the offensive tackle position.
Fortunately for the Dallas Cowboys, they already have arguably the best left tackle in the NFL in Tyron Smith, which means that La’el Collins can ease into the right tackle position.
Doug Free currently occupies the right tackle position, but it has been said that the Dallas Cowboys would love to find an upgrade over the 31 year old. Free has declined a bit recently.
A starting offensive line of Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and La’el Collins could still be the best in the NFL and can carry the Dallas Cowboys on offense.
The Dallas Cowboys could be set for years to come with that unit because all five of them are under the age of 27, which means that they all could still develop into better players.
For years, Jerry Jones neglected the offensive line because he was seduced by fancier draft picks at other positions, but that has been remedied with the last couple of drafts.
While the Dallas Cowboys do not need to cross this particular bridge until they get there, management knows that they’re likely going to have problems signing all these offensive linemen.
In 2014, Tyron Smith signed an 8 year contract worth $109 million, which at the time made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the National Football League. It was well deserved.
Travis Frederick was considered a bad draft pick, but he has since blossomed into arguably the best center in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys will likely have to open up the checkbook for him.
Zack Martin, a former Notre Dame Fighting Irish star, came into the NFL and was immediately one of the best guards in the game. He’s another guy who will likely command big bucks soon.
With the way that La’el Collins has been playing thus far, he seems like he and his agent will be demanding a huge contract in the near future, especially if he moves to offensive tackle.
Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau are solid, backup offensive linemen for the Dallas Cowboys, but they might receive attention from other NFL teams via free agency.
There are likely going to be a lot of changes to the Dallas Cowboys offensive linemen soon.
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