Cowboys lineman La'el Collins trying to get a hang of things on right side

IRVING, Texas -- Of the 15 offensive linemen on the current Dallas Cowboys' roster, only two are listed as OL. The rest have specific positions: guard, center or tackle. La'el Collins and Chaz Green have the more general offensive line tag.

The Cowboys' addition of Collins, a first-round talent who went undrafted because of circumstances beyond his control, was viewed as a coup for a line already considered among the NFL's best.

But the question since he signed has been: what position will he play?

The initial talk was at left guard where he would compete with Ronald Leary and play between Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, but last week he took his turns at right tackle with Doug Free recovering from offseason foot surgery.

Could he be at left guard today?

"We see him as a guy who can maybe do both of those things as he goes," coach Jason Garrett said. "The big thing for him is to try to get him acclimated as quickly as he can. So right now he's going to play right tackle for us."

As athletically gifted as Collins is -- watching him field ground balls during a recent home-run charity event he looked like Pablo Sandoval: a giant with smooth feet -- the adjustment to the other side of the line will be difficult.

What's different? Try throwing with your opposite hand and you will get the idea.

"Everything," Collins said. "I had to switch over from playing left pretty much my whole career to right. So now I have to switch up my stance and really re-wire my whole mind toward where I want to go when I hear play calls and things like that."

He played left guard as a sophomore and left tackle his final two years at LSU.

With Free out until training camp, the Cowboys' right tackles are Darrion Weems and Collins with Green and John Wetzel also having the ability to play there. Free was in Collins' ear during last week's practices, helping the rookie make the adjustment.

Collins said he learns best by watching.

"You get a sense of the feel of the way it's supposed to be done, the speed of it," Collins said. "Just being able to see Tyron (Smith) go through his sets and his footwork and his hand placement and where he is and seeing him go through the drills you get a feel for it."