Report: Texans sign former Cowboys, Raiders DT Maliek Collins

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Mark Lane
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The Houston Texans recognize the defensive line is a problem that must be addressed, and general manager Nick Caserio is trying to get on base with a quality free agency signing.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL, the Texans have agreed to sign former Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Maliek Collins to a one-year contract worth $6 million.

With the Raiders in 2020, Collins produced 15 combined tackles and a quarterback hit in 12 games, 11 of which he started. His best work came with the Cowboys, who drafted him in the third round in 2016. The former Nebraska Cornhusker provided Dallas with 14.5 sacks, 84 combined tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 40 quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and five fumble recoveries in 61 career games, 55 of which he started.

Collins followed former Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who was with the organization from 2013-19, out to Las Vegas where he became the defensive line coach under Jon Gruden. Marinelli, like Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, uses the Tampa-2 scheme, and Collins routinely played as the three-technique defensive tackle in their 4-3 front.

Former Dallas coach Jason Garrett, now offensive coordinator with the New York Giants, told reporters on Oct. 21, 2019, that Collins was “very active, both as a run defender and affecting the quarterback.”

“He’s playing with a relentless spirit, he’s non-stop every play,” Garrett said. “So he’s played very well up to this point this year, he’s a good player.”

Collins finished his contract year with the Cowboys starting all 16 games, collecting 20 combined tackles, 4.0 sacks, six tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, and a fumble recovery. Dallas finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

The 6-2, 308-pound defensive tackle gives the Texans a player who knows how to man the key defensive tackle position in the Tampa-2. At 25 years old, Collins could still provide Houston with enough youth to become a mainstay at the position.