The Dallas Cowboys can win the NFC East by beating the Washington Commanders in Week 18. After that, they’re confirmed for the playoffs, where they could have added offensive line help, with former starter La’el Collins signing to the team’s practice squad Tuesday afternoon after working him out in the morning, according to NFL Media.
Collins, who reportedly visited the Bills days earlier, joins the Dallas practice squad after passing his physical, making him eligible for game day promotions throughout the entire 2023 postseason.
The former LSU standout has spent the majority of his NFL career with the Cowboys, starting 71 games for Dallas — primarily at right tackle while also playing some left guard — from 2015-2021. The team signed him as an undrafted free agent out of LSU in 2015, and they re-upped him to a five-year, $50 million extension days prior to the start of the 2019 season. Collins served a five-game suspension for bribing an NFL drug test collector in the 2021 season, his last with the Cowboys. The team released him in March of the 2022 offseason.
He most recently spent the 2022 campaign with the Bengals, who cut him early this season. Prior to his release, Collins had been on the Physically Unable to Perform list while recovering from a knee injury suffered late in 2022. Cincinnati had signed him to three-year, $21 million contract four days after Dallas released him in 2022.
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Collins is still working his way back to game-day shape, NFL Media indicated this week, but could provide veteran insurance along Dallas’ front. Both of the Cowboys’ current starting tackles are healthy, but starting left guard Tyler Smith.