Largely overshadowed by Jason Garrett’s announcement that the Dallas Cowboys would move on to Matt Cassel as their starter on the other side of the bye week was the announcement that, in that game, they’ll have a new starting left guard, too.
De facto first round pick La’el Collins will take over at left guard against the Giants, after backing up Ronald Leary for most of the first five games of the year. He started in place of Leary in the loss to the Falcons, as Leary was dealing with a groin injury and played well enough to presumably set the groundwork for the change this week.
Collins, of course, was a first round lock until he was questioned in the murder of his girlfriend just before the draft. He was never a suspect, but speaking with authorities was enough to scare away every team in the draft. After that, with the picture a little more clear, Jerry Jones put together one hell of a hospitality committee, including Tony Romo, Jason Witten and members of the offensive line, and made his pitch to Collins over dinner at his home. The next day, Collins signed.
The veteran Leary, meanwhile, just held tight to his starting job. Until now, we guess.
“We really just watched the tape of the guys who played and how they played in game situations,” Garrett said. “We evaluated his tape vs. Ron’s tape and felt like over the last couple of weeks he is deserving of this opportunity right now.”