Sources are reporting that left guard La’el Collins will need surgery for his toe injury and this will likely sideline him for the rest of 2016. After hurting his toe in the Chicago game last week, Collins went for a second opinion and hoped that rest might allow him to recover enough to play this year. That doesn’t appear to be the case.
Collins suffered a ligament tear in his toe, an injury that a few Cowboys have suffered through in recent seasons. Sean Lee had it in 2012 and Terrell McClain had his season ended last year with the same problem.
The Cowboys will turn to Ron Leary for the rest of the year, and he’s already played the second half of the Chicago game and all of the game against the San Francisco 49ers. Dallas had thought about trading Leary in the offseason, especially when they were debating whether to bring in veteran help at quarterback once Tony Romo went down. The organization got lucky when they decided not to trade Leary, that might have stunted the progress of Dak Prescott, and would have left a big hole now at left guard.
Collins’ injury could mean a big payday for Leary, he is a free agent at the end of the year, and with a season worth of accolades from playing on the Cowboys offensive line, he could land a nice contract from another team. The Cowboys will presumably go back to Collins next year, he is seen as having big upside and is younger than Leary, and Leary has a chronic knee condition that could limit his career in the NFL.
But for now, the Cowboys are lucky to have a player of Leary’s talent to plug into the hole for the rest of the year.