The Dallas Cowboys‘ roster suffered some major losses this offseason. Missing were names like wide receiver Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson Jr., and defensive end Randy Gregory was certainly a factor in the team losing their home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 19-3, last weekend.
Another name the Cowboys moved on from this offseason was starting right tackle La’el Collins. After spending his first seven NFL seasons in Dallas, the team released Collins with a post-June 1 designation after they weren’t able to find a suitable trade partner for him.
Reasons for his release were believed to be financial with the Cowboys saving $10 million with the move. Also believed to be a factor was the unexpected play of offensive tackle Terence Steele, a 2020 undrafted free agent who’s started 27 games over the past two seasons in Dallas. Collins missed 21 of 33 games to injury or suspension over that same two-year span according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Collins landed with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason, fresh off their Super Bowl appearance against the Los Angeles Rams. The former Cowboys’ starter inked a three-year, $21 million contract with incentives. That sets up a reunion this Sunday as the Bengals head to Arlington to face the Cowboys.
When asked recently during a locker room presser in Cincinnati if Collins believed he would be returning to the Cowboys for the 2022 regular season, here’s how he responded according to both The Athletic’s Jon Machota via Twitter and on Cincinnati Bengals Talk via YouTube.
“Honestly, I thought about a lot of different things. But, to be back here with [Frank Pollack] and to get coached by a great offensive line coach, somebody who also played the position, was big for me. I got to the point in my career to where I felt like I wasn’t getting the things that I needed. And coming here, that was definitely the reason why.”La’el Collins on if he thought he’d be playing in Dallas this year
Another reporter asked Collins to clarify his statement on what he thought he needed and if he meant coaching-wise.
“At this stage of my career, any player wants to be coached. Wants to be coached hard. Wants that feedback. I think Frank does a great job of that. Obviously, playing the position, he knows it’s all about the Johnny and Joe’s not the X’s and O’s. It’s one of those things.”La’el Collins when asked what he needed more of coaching-wise
At the end of the day, there’s often some bad blood whenever a player and a franchise decide to part ways. And in this case, La’el Collins clearly felt that the coaching staff in Dallas was lacking. While some might dismiss this as simply sour grapes on his part, this isn’t the first time the coaching in Dallas has come under fire. And that includes the team’s current offensive line coach, Joe Philbin.