No team has more money invested in its offensive line than the Cowboys. According to spotrac.com, Dallas has $61 million of its cap committed to offensive linemen, almost $13 million more than the second-place spender, the Packers.
The Cowboys have three first-rounders in their offensive line as well as a second-rounder and La'el Collins, who likely would have gone in the first round if not for some untimely and unfortunate circumstances beyond his control on the eve of the draft in 2015.
It seems unlikely the Cowboys can afford to keep Collins after this season, and they prepared for his departure by drafting Connor McGovern in the third round this spring.
But that hasn’t stopped Collins, who is entering the final year of his deal, from hoping to remain in Dallas beyond 2019.
“I would love to stay in Dallas my entire career,” Collins said during his second annual summer youth football camp in Louisiana, via Herbie Teope of The Advocate. “I love the Cowboys, I love Mr. [Jerry] Jones; I love the Jones family. I love everything about the whole organization and what they’ve done for me as a person and as a player.
“For me, it’s just all about going out there and taking it one day at a time, and proving myself, proving my worth, showing them that I want to be there by what I do and now what I say.”
Collins, who is scheduled to earn a base salary of $6.5 million this season, has made 46 starts since the Cowboys signed him as an undrafted free agent. He began his career at left guard before shifting to right tackle.
While Collins might prefer to remain with the Cowboys, it’s a good bet he will find more money waiting for him in free agency.
That would leave the Cowboys to move Connor Williams — a second-round pick in 2018 — from left guard to right tackle in 2020, with McGovern playing left guard. Or if Williams better adjusts to playing guard, the Cowboys could play McGovern at right tackle.
Williams and McGovern both played tackle in college.
Either way, the Cowboys have prepared for the future and will have options if Collins leaves.