When La’el Collins signed with the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago, he declared that he was joining an offensive line that has the potential to be the best in NFL history. Collins’s new line-mates aren’t ready to make any such declarations.
“You know that’s not something that I personally am going to say,” said center Travis Frederick, the Cowboys’ first round pick in 2013, per Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I know we have a long way to go to reach anything like that. For us to come in and try and do what we want to do--and what that is, is do as well as we did last year and continue to improve--we have a long way to go. So we’re just grinding continuing to work on technique and strength and speed and hopefully we can have another good year.”
Collins’s excitement is certainly understandable. Dallas had one of the best offensive lines in football going into the draft. They came out of the draft only stronger, with the selections of tackles Chaz Green out of Florida in the third round and Laurence Gibson out of Virginia Tech in the seventh. So when Collins was added to that already loaded group--the fourth first round-graded offensive lineman they’ve brought in since 2011--the excitement about that particular group went through the roof in North Texas.
“We certainly have a lot of talent in that room,” Frederick said. “A lot can be said about the guys who are there, but there are also a lot of times when talent goes wasted if it’s not put to good use. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. We have a long way to go, and we’re going to continue to work and continue to try and get better.”