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Cowboys news: La’el Collins could be on the move as Dallas is actively fielding trade calls

Plus other news from around the team.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys having active trade conversations involving tackle La’el Collins - Nick Shook, NFL.com

The Cowboys have been discussing a lot of interesting moves this offseason. Add this one to the list.

The Cowboys are looking at parting ways with a handful of notable names. A new one popped up Thursday.

Dallas is having active trade conversations involving right tackle La’el Collins, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Collins has been a productive tackle when on the field, but has struggled to remain available in the last two seasons. Collins missed all of 2020 due to injury, landing on injured reserve in early September, and was suspended five games in 2021 for violating the league’s policy and program on substances of abuse.

When he hasn’t been forced out of action, Collins has been an important part of the Cowboys’ offensive line. Collins has graded at 80 or better, per Pro Football Focus, in each of the last two seasons in which he’s played (2019 and 2021), showing premier ability in the run game and serving as a solid tackle when it comes to pass protection.

FA Forecast: Nearly Impossible To Re-Sign Everyone - Nick Eatman, Dallascowboys.com

The Cowboys have some tough decisions to make.

FRISCO, Texas – Over the next week, a lot will change in terms of the Cowboys roster, especially when the official free-agent signing period opens on March 16.

But between now and then, there will be a few other deadlines, including Tuesday, the last day teams can place the franchise tag on a player. Also, there will be a two-day window in which other teams can start negotiating with free agents before the start of the new league year.

So expect some chaos to occur regarding the this team, which has over 20 unrestricted free agents on the list.

Today, let’s focus on some players who are getting a lot of interest from other teams. The Cowboys know they can’t sign everyone and unfortunately for them, some of these guys will fall into that category.

Cedrick Wilson – The Cowboys have a big decision to make at wide receiver, starting with Amari Cooper. And then with Michael Gallup, who appears to be close to re-signing a long-term deal with the Cowboys. So where does this leave Cedrick Wilson? The Cowboys want to bring him back but the money will probably dictate that he plays somewhere else in 2022. The do-it-all receiver showed his versatility and value last year. There are teams that will probably pay Wilson to be a No. 2 receiver, where in Dallas he’s probably going to be the No. 3 and maybe fourth receiver if they draft one early. If the market allows him to return, the Cowboys would jump at the chance but it doesn’t seem likely.

Cowboys Decline RFA & EFRA Tenders on Gifford, Bernard, Hyatt - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

The Cowboys have been playing the money game this offseason, and the roster churning is nonstop at this point.

The miserly Cowboys are pinching salary cap pennies wherever they can this offseason and even near the bottom of the roster. Linebackers Luke Gifford and Francis Bernard and Offensive Tackle Mitch Hyatt may now become unrestricted free agents as Dallas is declining to give them the possible restricted and exclusive rights tender offers.

Under the current CBA, players with only three accrued seasons in the NFL and no contract don’t qualify automatically for true free agency. They are “restricted” in that their current team has a right to keep them on a one-year deal worth a set amount of money depending on the level of protection the team is willing to pay for.

Luke Gifford falls into this category in 2022. He was an undrafted free agent in 2019 and has appeared in at least six games or more for Dallas each of the last three years.

The lowest-level RFA tender this year was $2.4 million, giving the original team the right to match any contract that another club might offer. But with their salary cap already forcing tough choices to be made with star players, Dallas apparently doesn’t feel tying up that much money in Gifford is worth the cost.

With many free agents already at linebacker such as Keanu Neal and Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys will supposedly be working on bringing Gifford back but on more affordable contract.

The Dallas Cowboys painful history of letting good players go - Dink Kearney, SportDFW

The battle between keeping and losing players is a year-in and year-out battle for all the teams in the NFL, however the Cowboys have had a tough history of letting some key players go.

Stephen has already given Cowboys Nation his state of the union address about how signing their own players are a priority, other free agents are not worth signing, and to believe in his system because…well…the more money the Cowboys save the better the odds of them winning the Super Bowl.

Besides being a “bargain bin” shopper, Stephen has influenced father/owner Jerry Jones to move on from good players because of money.

Instead of finding creative ways to retain key players like every other team, the Dallas Cowboys cut good players and pocket the savings

Currently, the Cowboys are rumored to release star wide receiver Amari Cooper and Pro Bowl edge rusher DeMarcus Lawrence at some point. Both players are the cornerstones on their respective side of the ball, and to some extent, the linchpins for this team’s overall success. Regardless of how you view each player, they’re worth keeping because they make Dallas a formidable opponent.

This wouldn’t be the first time Stephen Jones cuts good-to-great players over money and it certainly won’t be the last time. Although Dallas didn’t cut defensive back Byron Jones, Dallas decided not to offer him a competitive contract despite his recent career season.

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