This loomed as a possibility for the Cowboys right tackle, but now that the veteran blocker will proceed with the operation, it represents a major blow to a team that has struggled on the injury front thus far. Collins will go under the knife Wednesday, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News tweets.
The Cowboys’ hopes he would recover with rest and treatment failed, with the sixth-year offensive lineman still in considerable pain. Collins has not played this season and will remain on Dallas’ IR list the rest of the way. This will mark the second time Collins will have been shut down early in a season. A toe malady ended Collins’ 2016 season after three games. Between 2017-19, the Round 1 talented-turned-UDFA started 47 of the Cowboys’ 48 regular-season games.
Dallas has been without Collins and All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith for the past two games. However, Smith is expected to return against the Browns on Sunday. The Cowboys will then have to decide on one of their UDFA backups — Terence Steele or Brandon Knight — to start opposite Smith, per Ed Werder of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Cowboys moved Zack Martin to right tackle on Sunday, but it appears the team will keep the All-Pro guard at his more familiar spot — at least to start the game against Cleveland. Pro Football Focus has graded Knight ahead of Steele thus far, though neither have made a particularly strong impression. The Seahawks’ maligned pass rush made a late impact to swing the teams’ Week 3 shootout.
Although Collins signed a second Cowboys extension last year, this will stunt his on-field momentum. The former guard emerged as one of the better right tackles in football last season. He will have to wait until 2021 to build on that.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.