The Cowboys will be getting a big piece back on Sunday, but is he ready to go?
Collins has only started one game (this year’s season opener at Tampa Bay) since the end of the 2019 season. He spent all of 2020 on injured reserve with a hip injury that required surgery, ad this year’s suspension has sidelined him five of six games. He also had limited practice time late in training camp because of a neck stinger.
Second-year right tackle Terence Steele filled in for 14 starts as a rookie and has shown obvious improvement in five starts for Collins this year.
The Cowboys haven’t announced a starter at right tackle for Week 8. Collins’ suspension was lifted last week, but the team was on a bye. They get back to a normal practice schedule Wednesday.
As Jones said, there’s no better gauge than actual on-field work. Practice will factor into how quickly Collins gets back into the groove.
“We’re excited to have him back,” guard Zack Martin said. “I know he’s chomping at the bit to get out there and run around with everyone. So we’ll see what happens moving forward, but I know he’s excited to be back.”
Collins on the move seems unlikely.
Dallas Cowboys should not trade offensive tackle La’el Collins
In the grand scheme of things, even though Collins made some dumb decisions that resulted in his suspension earlier this season, he served it and should be good to go from here on out. Even though other teams will more than likely be interested to see what it would take to trade for him due to his skill-set, Jones should stay pat and keep him on the Cowboys.
Collins is under contract until 2025 as to which he’ll be an unrestricted free agent and for what it’s worth, he’s still entering some of the prime years of his young career. In his third season for the Cowboys so far, he’s been a very good starting offensive tackle and when healthy, gets the job done consistently in pass protection and does his part in setting up proper lanes for the ground game.
Football games are won and lost in the trenches as it’s important for the Cowboys to keep their offensive line intact. While there isn’t a need to add more offensive line depth via trade, it’s also imperative they keep the talent they have now to not disrupt anything as the season progresses.
Cavalry Coming: Cowboys getting injured, suspended players back, but will Prescott start Sunday? - Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire
Besides Collins, the Cowboys are hoping to get back some other players.
Gallup, Bernard, and Hill will now enter a three-week practice window; the Cowboys have 21 days of evaluation to decide whether put each of them on the active roster. Any of them could added in time for the Week 8 game.
With the players taking last week off, Monday marked the first practice back for offensive tackle La’el Collins after serving a five-game suspension. The coaching staff has said they will take the week to gauge his readiness for Sunday night’s matchup in Minnesota.
Terence Steele has played well on a fill-in basis for him; the team has implied that Collins is not necessarily guaranteed to reclaim his starting role after missing five weeks of action.
Most important for most of Cowboys Nation, quarterback Dak Prescott was expected to be held out of the first practice of the week as he recovers from a calf strain suffered on the final play of Week 6’s overtime win in New England.
The team has stated they’ll take a wait-and-see approach with Prescott; he is slated to begin practicing again on Wednesday. Dallas is “optimistic” he’ll be ready to go in time for the Halloween date with the Vikings.
Jayron Kearse has made the Cowboys look very smart for signing him.
“Yeah, he’s grown up a lot. I’d say from my time in Minnesota, you could just see the maturity level, his concentration, his focus on his task and having a voice in the room,” Edwards said. “Being able to communicate on the field, he’s really grown a lot and it’s showing in his play.
“He knows what to anticipate. That goes with his preparation from game to game and it goes with his preparation at practice. So he’s doing a great job of communicating. It’s good to see that he’s matured and grown as much as he has and making good decisions on the field and off the field.
“You love to see that in a player, especially when you see him grow up as a youngster and see him develop into the player that he’s become now. We’re excited about him and look forward to moving forward with him.”
But the best part about Kearse’s maturation is that he still plays with the same fire and swagger, something Kearse himself takes a lot of pride in. Edwards is impressed that Kearse has been able to find that balance.
The Cowboys are pushing hard to lock up the division as soon as possible.
The off week came at a great time for the Cowboys. Dak Prescott limped to the locker room following their OT victory over the Patriots and got the extra time to rest and rehab his strained calf. It also gave extra time to help get returning players like WR Michael Gallup, OT La’el Collins, and CB Kelvin Joseph better prepared for Sunday Night Football.
Even better, the rest of the division stayed true to form in Week 7. The Eagles and the Football Team were both outclassed in road losses to the Raiders and Packers, dropping them to 2-5 and giving Dallas another half-game in its division lead.
The Giants, who were in the basement at 1-5 prior to yesterday, were the only winner in a thorough handling of the Panthers. But this had more to do with Carolina’s implosion, losing their fourth straight, than anything overly impressive from New York.
NFC East Standings
(Division Record in parentheses)
Dallas Cowboys 5-1 (2-0)
Washington Football Team 2-5 (1-0)
Philadelphia Eagles 2-5 (0-1)
New York Giants 2-5 (0-2)
Week 8 features some easier games for the Cowboys’ rivals and perhaps one of the tougher matchups left on Dallas’ schedule. Our heroes will travel to Minnesota on Sunday night, who may be 3-3 but have kept it close against some of the league’s best teams in their losses.
Vikings Approaching Crucial Stretch 1 Game at a Time, Starting with Cowboys - Lindsay Young, Vikings.com
A view from to the other side.
Minnesota (3-3) will come out of its bye to host Dallas (5-1) at U.S. Bank Stadium for Sunday Night Football this weekend. The Vikings then will play back-to-back home games against the Ravens and Chargers (talk about a cross-country trip) before returning home to host the division-rival Packers.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer acknowledged that the next four games will be significant for a team that clawed its way out of a 1-3 start.
This week, though, the Vikings are focused only on the Cowboys.
“I think it’s important for the whole team that we approach each game [one at a time]. You can’t get too much ahead of yourself,” Zimmer reiterated. “I, unfortunately, have to look at the schedule a little bit more than they do, but I don’t know other than – I mean, I know the next three games, but I don’t really worry too much past that.
“We have to put all of our focus and intensity this week into practice; we have to put it all into Dallas and try to play the very best we can,” he added. “When that game’s over, then we’ll move on to the next week.”
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