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Cowboys news: La’el Collins might have a future somewhere else besides right tackle

Plus other news and analysis from around the team.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

5 Bucks: Best Spot For La’el Collins Might Be Guard - Bucky Brooks, Dallascowboys.com

Bucky Brooks gives his thoughts on the future of La’el Collins.

What’s up with La’el Collins?

The Cowboys’ starting right tackle returns after serving a five-game suspension, but it is not a given that he slides into his starting spot when he returns. Terence Steele has played well in his absence, and Mike McCarthy should not risk disrupting the chemistry of the unit by removing the third-year pro from the lineup.

That said, Collins is one of the best five offensive linemen on the squad and he should have a spot in the starting lineup. If he is moved to guard, he is an upgrade over Conner Williams and a more natural fit as an interior blocker.

At LSU, I thought he would be at his best as a pro at guard due to his mauler/brawler playing style and athletic limitations. Collins can focus on sumo wrestling bigger bodies in tight quarters compared to dealing with the swift speed rushers attacking quickly off the edges. In addition, the veteran would give the Cowboys a beefy left side if he played beside Tyron Smith at left guard. The massive duo would enable the Cowboys to crush opponents in the running game as the team shifted to a left0handed approach to maximize the strengths of a rebuilt offensive line.

Collins might like the acclaim and money that comes with being an starting offensive tackle in this league, but a move inside might help him and the Cowboys’ offensive line thrive down the stretch.

Terence Steele will remain Cowboys starter at right tackle versus Vikings despite La’el Collins return - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys

The feeling all along felt like La’el Collins was going to walk right into his customary position. That will not be the case.

This week has brought the Dallas Cowboys back from their bye and it has also seen the return of a number of Cowboys players to the practice field. Dallas has been down some notable contributors for a little over a month now and among them was La’el Collins. While most of the Cowboys who have been out have been nursing various injuries, Collins was suspended for five games on the day after the team’s season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The news was obviously troubling when it first landed and came just after Collins had played his first game for the team since the 2019 season ended as he missed all of the 2020 season with injury. Needless to say his time over the last two years - the entire time that Mike McCarthy has been the team’s head coach by the way - has been a bit turbulent.

When Collins went down many Cowboys fans were concerned about the state of the right tackle position. Thankfully second-year undrafted free agent Terence Steele rose to the occasion and actually played well enough that a small debate ran throughout Cowboys Nation as to whether or not Steele should remain the starter at right tackle.

Dak: Trying To Give Myself The Best Chance - David Helman, Dallascowboys.com

Sounds like if the decision was completely his, Dak would for sure be playing Sunday night.

FRISCO, Texas – To hear it from him, if Dak Prescott was the only one making the decision, he’d be playing Sunday night in Minneapolis.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday afternoon, Prescott made it abundantly clear. If this game against the Minnesota Vikings was a playoff game, or at the very least a do-or-die situation for this Dallas Cowboys team, he’d be available.

“It’d be no question – 100% no question,” he said.

Therein lies the conversation that will take place over the next few days. It’s late October, and the playoffs are a long way away. On top of that, the Cowboys hold a commanding lead in the NFC East at 5-1, and they perhaps can afford to consider the big picture more than others.

So while Prescott acknowledges that he wants to play, he was willing to weigh the other side of the coin when it comes to his injured calf.

Dallas Cowboys: Dan Quinn and his defense are showing life - Jack Lindsay, SportDFW

The Cowboys surely look different on defense this year. Dan Quinn has played a huge part in that.

Many Dallas Cowboys fans were probably like me when they first heard about the Dan Quinn hire. “Didn’t he blow a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, and didn’t we just come back from a game down 12 with two minutes to go against his Falcons?” All previous history led me (and probably you) to believe that hiring a guy that is known for blowing leads, probably wouldn’t be the best option as the next Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator.

Thankfully, I was wrong about that.

How did the Dallas Cowboys defense change so much with Dan Quinn?

Most Dallas Cowboys fans shudder to picture what the defense was like under Mike Nolan last year. 26th in points allowed (441), 31st in rushing yards per game (158.8), and 20th in total sacks (31.0). Every single game they went out there with no hope of stopping any team.

Even at the beginning of the season, when Dak Prescott was still healthy, the offense was constantly playing catchup trying to keep Dallas afloat. Offense has rarely been the problem for the Cowboys in recent years, it’s always been our defense trying to catch up.

Top trades Cowboys should make before 2021 NFL deadline: Upgrade interior D-line, family reunion on O-line - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

Would you like to see the Cowboys make a move prior to the trade deadline?

No, there’s no hook here that you’ll have to pull out of your cheek. The fact is, the Dallas Cowboys are 5-1 and playing like Super Bowl contenders as they enter their Week 8 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, so there’s not much they need to look to do as the Nov. 2 trade deadline rapidly approaches. And because of that, they don’t have to be thirsty buyers this year. So, as we take a look at some possible trade targets who could put them over the top in what could be a “very, very special year” for Dak Prescott and his defense alike — the latter being led by players like Randy Gregory and a historic run from cornerback Trevon Diggs — using big-name prospects would simply be to bait you into a click.

“We don’t do that here.” - King T’Challa

Instead, let’s blow right past names like Marcus Maye, because the Cowboys already have a great problem with depth at the safety position, and despite the recent DUI arrest on Damontae Kazee, he likely won’t face punishment until 2022 — if he does at all. Let’s also push past Joe Haden, sources telling CBS Sports the Cowboys have had no interest in pursuing that trade, and also Kyle Fuller, because Dallas is highly unlikely to trade for a cornerback with the debut of rookie second-round pick Kelvin Joseph coming in the next game or two.

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