Dallas Cowboys starting right tackle La’el Collins was absent from The Star on Thursday after getting into a car accident, according to multiple reports.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Collins was cut off and involved in a “major crash,” though he appears to have emerged unscathed. The Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken reached a team source who termed Collins’ situation as “minor.”
“He’s OK,” another source told Gelhken.
It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month for Collins, who’s yet to practice in full through the first week of Cowboys training camp due to an injury that head coach Mike McCarthy deemed “nothing serious.” The 27-year-old has taken part in individual drills, working off to the side with the training staff.
Collins isn’t the only snakebitten Dallas blocker. His primary backup, Brandon Knight, didn’t participate in team exercises until Tuesday and veteran swing lineman Cameron Erving remains out with an “ailment,” per McCarthy.
Wyatt Miller, a 2019 undrafted free agent, has handled first-string RT reps in Collins’ stead. The experiment came to a disastrous head Tuesday.
“[DeMarcus] Lawrence got to Dak Prescott at least three times for would-be “sacks,” and he collapsed the pocket and forced Prescott to scramble another two or three times,” the team’s official website reported.
Hurting for healthy (and preferably capable) bodies, the Cowboys on Tuesday signed former 49ers and Chiefs OT Pace Murphy to a two-year contract.
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Smith Injured, Leaves Practice
The Cowboys’ bad OL luck continued Thursday as perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith left practice early. Fortunately, the issue is relatively nondescript; ESPN’s Todd Archer reports Smith’s hamstring tightened up before the team period of practice.
Sources close to the situation told the Dallas Morning News that Smith is “fine” and assured the hamstring is “nothing” to be concerned about. Reading between the lines, his exit was merely precautionary.
Miller and Terrence Steele were platooned in Smith’s absence as the defense applied continual pressure to Prescott and the first-string offense.
DeMarcus Lawrence closing in on Dak Prescott during today’s practice
(Photos via the Dallas Cowboys) pic.twitter.com/QuTjflP1o9
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 20, 2020
Background on New Tackle
A 2016 undrafted free agent, Murphy began his NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams, appearing in one game during his rookie year. He was waived at final cuts in 2017.
He spent that season on the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad and much of the 2018 campaign on the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice team. Waived by the Chiefs in 2019, Murphy landed on the Dallas Renegades of the XFL, which folded league operations back in April.
It’s telling that the Cowboys gave Murphy, 26, a two-year contract, which is unusual for what most consider a camp body. Evidently, the front office feels he possesses developmental upside beyond 2020.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL