Dallas Cowboys LT Debate
Reason No. 3: He’s proven and pedigreed
Finally, the man knows how to play left tackle. People forget La’el Collins was a left tackle at LSU. And he was expected to be a first round pick because he projected as a possible left tackle in the NFL as well.
He was so good as a left tackle he even scored a 99 in pass-blocking efficiency by College Football Focus his last year in school. That was tops in the country. True, dominance in college doesn’t automatically equate success in the pros, but we cannot take it for granted that Collins won top offensive lineman honors in the SEC of all conferences.
His 33.25 inch arms and 10 3/8 inch hands make him more than a suitable replacement to Tyron Smith and he’s by far the most talented tackle on the roster after Smith.
It’s true, Collins hasn’t played left tackle in the pros and his best position is most certainly right tackle, but every single time we’ve seen Steele play LT he’s been abysmal. The Dallas Cowboys coaches knew this too, as recently as this preseason Dallas Cowboys coaches preferred to use Nsekhe on the left over Steele. I’ll remind you, Nsekhe gave up a sack and three hurries in relief in Minneapolis. I’m not interested in starting him or anyone who wasn’t clearly better than that.
I’m of the firm belief any starting five has to include La’el Collins. Collins is one of Dallas’ top-3 linemen and frankly there’s a steep fall-off into tier 2 where “the Connors” reside. While Steele is developing at an impressive pace, he’s just not at the level of Collins, nor is he someone you want protecting Dak’s blindside.
Some day that may change but there’s no indication that day is today and the safest/smartest move is plugging Collins in at LT and not moving Collins to RT until after Tyron Smith returns.
Sadly, this was all blatantly obvious before the Cowboys ever played the Broncos. It’s hard to imagine what the Cowboys coaches were thinking but they certainly weren’t basing it on film or athletic ability.
There’s time to correct this. Let’s make the move now: make La’el the LT while Tyron is out and wait to move him to RT until Tyron’s back. Hopefully that day comes soon…