The Dallas Cowboys have a few extra days to determine what they will do, but their minds have to be churning at high speeds to figure out how to move forward without La’el Collins for the next month-plus. Suspended by the NFL for five games due to violation of the substance-abuse policy, Collins got just one game in after missing the entire 2020 season due to injury.
It’s a big blow for a team that was looking to re-establish their identity as one of the league’s premiere blocking units. They played Week 1 without right guard Zack Martin (COVID) and haven’t played with their starting five since Thanksgiving 2019. If the suspension holds (likely will) they won’t be able to do so again until at the earliest Halloween 2021.
The Cowboys will be without WR Michael Gallup for the same amount of time they are without Collins, and they just so happen to have the personnel to run 12 out there with regularity, offering help to their temporary right tackle solution. Dalton Schultz can be effective as the inline tight end who occasionally releases into a route to catch opposing defenses off guard.
The club is likely going to have to try out a myriad of solutions, both in their preparation for each game and potentially with in-game adjustments. Here are a few ideas for how Mike McCarthy and line coach Joe Philbin could search for the best answer.