DeMarco Murray is probably somewhere in Philadelphia sulking because of the offensive line he left behind in Dallas. The Cowboys are projected to start Tyron Smith (LT), Ronald Leary (LG), Travis Fredrick (C), Zack Martin (RG), and Doug Free (RT) to form one of the most fearsome offensive line units in the NFL.
Free is 31 years old though, and even if he were to begin declining, the Cowboys are now sitting at the table with an extra ace up their sleeve.
Dallas announced the signing of undrafted free agent La’el Collins on Thursday. The former LSU Tiger offensive lineman was projected to be a first-round draft pick, but he went undrafted because of a possible link to the murder of his ex-girlfriend.
As soon as Collins was cleared to not be a suspect in the murder investigation, all 32 NFL teams started knocking on Collins’ door. The Cowboys were the ones to get their foot in the door with a fully guaranteed three-year contract worth $1.65 million.
Again, Collins was supposed to be a first-round pick. Though the contract is fully guaranteed, it’s still a lot less money than he was supposed to receive should he have been drafted in the first round — or at all.
La’el Collins on diminished contract: “Its a lot more money than I was making in college.”
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) May 7, 2015
#Cowboys considered drafting an OL in 1st rd to play guard, then take over for Doug Free in a year or 2. They got La’El Collins for it now
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 7, 2015
Former LSU offensive tackle La’el Collins to Cowboys Collins was No. 22 prospect entering draft, according to @McShay13
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 7, 2015
#Cowboys signing La’El Collins is huge coup. Between Collins, Randy Gregory & Byron Jones, it’s a monster draft class in terms of potential.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) May 7, 2015
Free is the oldest of the starting offensive linemen with the second oldest being the 26-year-old Leary.
Should Collins take the starting job at right tackle from Free, the Cowboys would have arguably the biggest, meanest, and youngest offensive line in the league.
You can pluck a high school running back and put him behind that line; he’ll rush for 1,000 yards.