Dallas Cowboys’ Connor McGovern and La’el Collins are playing for jobs

(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are still figuring things out. Normally by this time of year things like the starting offensive line are figured out. But this year is anything but normal on the Cowboys O-line.

Dallas started the season with Zack Martin out and Connor McGovern in his place. Then Martin came back and McGovern went to the bench/utility role. At the same time La’el Collins got suspended and Terence Steele replaced him.

Soon after Connor Williams was replaced by McGovern and La’el returned from suspension. Steele stayed in place temporarily but after Tyron Smith fell to injury, Steele took LT while Collins moved back to RT. Last week we saw Tyron return but we saw the Dallas Cowboys inexplicably play musical chairs with Steele/Collins and Williams/McGovern. It’s been madness.

Which brings us to today – a whole lotta questions and not much time left to find answers

The time for Connor McGovern and La’el Collins to prove they are starters on the Dallas Cowboys is now.

This is what we call “a window of opportunity.” The window for Collins and McGovern is currently open. How long it stays open is up to them. Both players have been unconvincing in their play and if they don’t prove to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff they are respectively the best man for the job, they could find themselves soon replaced.

The Cowboys coaching staff adores Terence Steele. If the competition is even remotely close between Steele and Collins, they will undoubtedly go with Steele. While I argue Collins is far more talented than Steele, I also admit Collins has been disappointing in his return from suspension. Last seen, he was a Pro Bowl talent. This year, he looks nothing more than solid.

Collins is far more talented than Steele and when playing up to expectations he will make himself impossible to bench. With Steele out on the COVID list, this is Collins’ opportunity.

Related Story. What are the Cowboys doing with Collins and Steele at RT?. light

Connor McGovern is in a different situation. The Dallas Cowboys seem to like both McGovern and the man he replaced at midseason (Connor Williams). But since taking over, McGovern hasn’t established himself as the better option…

Connor Williams lost his job because of way too many high-profile penalties. But as an overall player he consistently grades pretty darn well. Connor McGovern is a different story. He’s a beast run-blocking but a bum in protection.

For as painful as the flags are, Williams was performing at a higher level than McGovern (Williams was well above average in both categories according to win rates by Next Gen).

Connor McGovern is a beast run-blocking but a bum in pass protection.

Connor McGovern has to improve in pass protection for him to keep his job. The Cowboys live and die by Dak Prescott and it’s much better to get a holding flag and protect Dak, than to give up pressures and hits on regular basis.

Like La’el Collins, the window is open for McGovern right now. But also like Collins’ situation, it may not be open for long.

Both players need strong performances on Thursday to secure their jobs. With the extra days of rest coming, this marks a natural change point for the Cowboys to make adjustments down the stretch.

Related Story. Here's what's happening with the Cowboys offense. light

Next. What is Terence Steele's ceiling as a RT?. dark

May the best man win…