Cowboys’ Collins banned 5 games over substance-abuse issue
DALLAS (AP). — La’el Collins, right tackle for the Dallas Cowboys was suspended five games on Friday by the NFL for violating its substance-abuse policy.
The suspension came a day after Collins played his first game since 2019 in the Cowboys’ opener, a 31-29 loss to defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay. Collins missed 2020 due to a hip problem that required surgery.
Collins will not be eligible until Week 8, against Minnesota, following Dallas’ open week. This means that the Cowboys won’t be able to play at least 22 consecutive Cowboys games without their top three offensive linemen.
Four-time All-Pro right guard Zack Martin, who played a career-low 10 games last year because of a calf injury, missed the opener after testing positive for COVID-19 five days before the game.
Left tackle TyronSmith, a seven time Pro Bowler, was only able to play in two games last season after he had neck surgery.
Dak Preston threw for 402 yard and three touchdowns against Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his first game in 11 after last season’s horrific ankle injury. The Cowboys were unable to make the run against Tampa and Collins will be a challenge again.
Terence Steele was the rookie who played the most games in Collins’ spot last season. However, the Cowboys moved Martin to right tackle for an unspecified time. Brandon Knight, who is on the COVID-19 reserve list with Martin, got most of the work at left tackle last year.
Collins was expected be a high draft pick 2015 from LSU, but he wasn’t selected in the wake of his name being revealed in an investigation into the death of a woman. Soon after his arrest, he was cleared to sign as a free agent with the Cowboys. Collins is currently on his third contract with Cowboys.