Cowboys Notes: Collins, Leary, Jones

La’el Collins decided to choose the Cowboys because of what he hopes will be a more lucrative second contract, reports Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link).

Cole describes Collins’ mindset of attempting to catch on with the league’s best offensive line in hopes of inflating his value in the process. Collins, who Cole expects to start at left guard in place of Ronald Leary this season, can renegotiate his deal after two years, something the LSU product hopes to do after the circumstances that conspired to keep him out of the draft depreciated his value considerably.

Here is some more news coming out of Dallas on Friday night …

  • Collins’ arrival doesn’t necessarily mean potential competitors up front are trade bait, Jerry Jones tells Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Leary is perceived to be the weak link on a formidable front, but the 26-year-old guard improved his play considerably last season, finishing as the 19th-best guard in football on Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). Davison does list Collins among his locks to start up front — either at left guard or right tackle — along with Tyron Smith at left tackle, Zack Martin at right guard and Travis Frederick at center. Right tackle Doug Free signed a three-year extension in March.
  • Jones has been busy not just adding three players with first-round talent but discussing it. Calling into a Dallas radio station KRLD, the Cowboys owner said he’d be open to trading the team’s 2016 first-round pick for help now, writes David Helman of Fox Sports Southwest. The question posed to Jones centered on running back or defensive help, to which the owner replied: “I’d be reluctant to, but certainly if the right situation came along that could improve us now, with where we are with (Tony) Romo, his career and where we are with what we’ve put together, it’s a good time to go for it,” Jones said. So the Adrian Peterson-to-Dallas rumors may still be clinging to life. Jones has traded first-rounders for talent in the past with sketchy results, sending the Lions three picks for Roy Williams in 2008 and exchanging two first-rounders with the Seahawks for Joey Galloway in 2000.
  • Appearing on KESN in Dallas,’s Peter King likened the Cowboys’ acquisition of Collins to a “stealth bombing,” allowing Dallas to procure three top-20 players on its draft board. “I bet the average salary of those two guys this year is going to be a million dollars,” King told the radio station. “If that. And so to me, the Cowboys caught a tremendous break in some ways.” They’ll likely total more than $1MM together next year, but a tremendous bargain nonetheless, should these gambles result in consistent on-field availability.
  • The Cowboys owner offered extensive praise for Collins in an interview with KRLD. Summarized by the Dallas Morning News, the conversation featured Jones preferring Collins’ versatility and desiring a young line that could stay together for as many as 10 years.
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