La’el Collins may very well be the right tackle of the future for the Dallas Cowboys, but that won’t stop the right tackle of the present, Doug Free, from helping the rookie along.
“You’re always competing but me as an older player, I look to teach as much as I can compete,” Free told the team’s official website. “But by not helping out somebody that could possibly help this team, I feel like I’d be hurting this team. No matter whether it’s something that could possibly hurt me in the future or not, right now is right now. Whatever I could do to help this team I’m going to do it.”
For now anyway, we’d guess that Free will keep his job at right tackle. To wit, he just signed a three-year deal with the team this offseason. Collins did see some time at right tackle this offseason--in the absence of Free, who is working back from ankle surgery--and moving from the left side, the side he’s used to, proved quite the tough adjustment for the LSU product. Collins has also been used at left guard, which will more likely be his position if he begins the season as a starter--as most assume he will.
In any case, Free didn’t do any bristling when the Cowboys signed Collins. To the contrary, he was a fan of the move.
“I think anytime you can get a guy with that kind of situation--a first-round type of guy with what we’ve got, the price was right,” Free said. “It was a great decision. I think it’ll be a great addition who can help us, if not this year, definitely in the future.”