Another chapter was written in the odyssey that has been La’el Collins’ path to the Dallas Cowboys this week, when Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett announced that beginning on the other side of the bye week, Collins would take over as the starting left guard.
Collins will replace the veteran Ronald Leary, who beat the rookie out for the job in training camp but hasn’t played all that well in the past couple of weeks.
As you might remember, Collins would’ve almost certainly been a front-half of the first round pick, but being questioned by authorities in the murder of a woman he once dated--Collins was never a suspect--was enough to scare off every team in the draft. He was courted by a few teams, but Jerry Jones’s pitch won out and he came to Dallas.
Now, he’ll take his place alongside Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, both players who dined with Collins and his mother on that fateful night at Mr. Jones’s house.
“This is definitely the start of showing I'm becoming the player I want to be,” Collins said, per Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPN Dallas. “I’m just taking that approach every day.
“For me, I never looked at it as being difficult (being inactive). I just looked at it as preparing myself, preparing myself to get ready to be where I am and just come out and work hard every day. So that’s why for me the preparation and everything that goes into it never changes. I just kind of need to keep that same pace and now pick it up a notch.”