FRISCO, Texas – It’s repeated so often nowadays that it becomes fact: The Dallas Cowboys have the best offensive line in football.
Well, when you look at All Pros in Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, no other team can match that. But what has made the Cowboys the best offensive line in football the last few years has been the cohesion of the five-man group.
The Cowboys are exploring different combinations at right tackle and left guard in the offseason with, most notably, La'el Collins playing exclusively at right tackle. When the Cowboys added Collins as an undrafted free agent in 2015, they worked him briefly at right tackle but quickly decided to use him at left guard, where he started 15 games in his first two years.
In this week’s Twitter mailbag, let’s look at the right tackle competition. It won’t take long.
#cowboysmail do you think RT is Collins lose at this point or a toss up between he and Green?— NJSportsdoc (@NJSportsDoc) June 1, 2017
I don’t believe it’s a tossup. I believe the job is Collins’. If the Cowboys were going to make this a competition they would have Green taking some snaps with the first team at tackle. He is on a Tuesday-Thursday workout plan because of back surgery last season, but he’s not taking first-team snaps there yet either.
Green, a third-round pick in 2015, has been hurt for most of his first two years. He didn’t play as a rookie because of hip surgery. He started two games last year when Smith was hurt, but then he hurt his foot and eventually needed the back surgery.
Counting on him is difficult without evidence he can stay healthy.
Green might take some work at guard with the first team because the Cowboys are looking at Jonathan Cooper exclusively at center at the moment. They want to give Cooper as much work at that position now to get him familiar with the spot. Knowing what we know right now, I believe Cooper will be the opening day left guard. The Cowboys have used Emmett Cleary and Joe Looney with the first group at left guard, but they want to get Cooper as much center experience as possible.
It’s June 2, so plenty of things can change between now and the regular-season opener against the New York Giants.
The Cowboys will play their best five offensive linemen when the season starts, and the longer the look Collins gets at right tackle the more it means there won’t be a competition when the pads come on.