It’s likely that you all had plans this weekend. Maybe you were going to play some golf or watch some college basketball. It’s unlikely you expected the Cowboys to land three new players.
Dallas has landed Allen Hurns, Cameron Fleming (expected), and now Marcus Martin (expected) over the last three days. These are legitimate second-wave-of-free-agency signings that fill holes on the roster. They’ve done good work.
Martin is the latest domino to fall, and with its own landing could come dominoes in different directions. As Marcus is an interior offensive lineman, acquiring him could tell us more details about where the rest will go.
The subject of where La’el Collins will play in 2018 has been one debate over the course of the last week. With Dallas looking at free agent linemen (coincidentally Fleming and Martin among them) part of the writing on the proverbial wall suggested La’el could move back to guard.
Considering the Cowboys agreed with both Fleming and Martin though, that perhaps paints a different picture, especially when looking at a tweet from the mothership’s Bryan Broaddus.
I think he has a chance. I really do. https://t.co/i664t8mOMH— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) March 25, 2018
So if Martin has a chance to start that would seemingly indicate that he would be competition for the left guard spot, at the very least. What does that tell us about La’el?
If, again a very big if, the Cowboys were planning on kicking Collins back inside to guard, the job would be his. He wouldn’t have to compete. That may sound anticlimactic and oppose every Friday Night Lights sort of cliche (THERE’S COMPETITION AT EVERY POSITION EVEN RUNNING BACK), but it stands to reason. La’el is legit. The job would be his, there’d be no competing.
Should the Cowboys want Marcus Martin to compete for left guard, his competition wouldn’t be La’el Collins but rather a likely rookie, perhaps one taken with the 19th overall pick. La’el is far too established, and far too highly compensated, to be competing for anything at this point. Martin’s presence suggests La’el will stay at right tackle, but it certainly doesn’t rule out the Cowboys drafting a potential left guard in the first round.
But what of the Cameron Fleming move, then? If, working in if-land still, the Cowboys do plan on having Martin compete for the left guard position while keeping La’el Collins at right tackle, where does that leave the first lineman Dallas agreed to terms with?
The money that Cameron Fleming ultimately nets from the Cowboys will tell us a lot about the responsibilities they’re potentially giving him, but it makes logical sense that he will be this team’s swing tackle.
Living in the past a bit, it makes sense that the Cowboys just found a few old faces/roles with their recent acquisitions. Cameron Fleming is the version of Chaz Green that was a functional swing tackle, and Marcus Martin could be the new Joe Looney considering he plays guard and has experience at center.
This would make La’el Collins the new Doug Free (the one everybody likes) and potentially a new rookie as the new Ron Leary. Of course, Martin himself could be Leary, he’s got that personality flex, I mean position flex.