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Dallas Cowboys grant RT La'el Collins permission to seek a trade

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FRISCO, Texas -- With the Dallas Cowboys believing Terence Steele is their right tackle of the present and future, the team has given La'el Collins' agents, Deryk Gilmore and Peter Schaffer, permission to seek a trade for their client, Schaffer told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Steele, an undrafted free agent signed in 2020, has started 27 games in his first two seasons, while Collins has dealt with injuries and suspensions the past two seasons. With a trade, the Cowboys would open up $1.3 million in salary-cap space. Without the trade, the Cowboys would likely release Collins, which could have gained them $10 million in room if they were to designate him a post-June 1 cut.

In 2019, Collins signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension that carried guaranteed money into this season, however, a five-game suspension last year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy voided the $6.48 million in guarantees. He is scheduled to make $10 million this season if he remains on the team's roster, with a cap hit of $15.25 million.

Over the past two seasons, Collins missed 21 of 33 games to injury or suspension. He did not play in 2020 because of hip surgery and started 10 of the 12 games he played in 2022.

Collins signed with the Cowboys in 2015 as an undrafted free agent after circumstances saw him go from a first-round selection to not being selected at all after his name was connected to a murder investigation. The Cowboys landed him after a dinner at Jerry Jones' house in which he was joined by coaches and soon-to-be teammates.

He began his career at left guard but missed 13 games in 2016 because of a toe injury that required surgery. In 2017, he moved to right tackle and started 47 of 48 games. He had his best season in 2019, but his productivity has suffered since he injured his hip.

This could be the start of an offensive line makeover for the Cowboys.

Left guard Connor Williams is set to be a free agent and is not expected to return. The Cowboys have Connor McGovern available to replace Williams, but could look to the draft, specifically in the first round at No. 24 overall, for a guard or center.