Cowboys Meeting with Potential La’el Collins Replacement: Report

Kenyon Green

Getty Kenyon Green of the Texas A&M Aggies speaks to reporters.

The Dallas Cowboys are gearing up for this year’s NFL draft, with the team still having key areas to improve before the 2022 season.

One of those needs is on the offensive line. While Zack Martin and Tyron Smith appear to be sticking around, the team has created the departure of tackle La’el Collins, which means that Terence Steele will be the primary starter at right tackle, after he and Collins each spent time moving around the line to make room for each other.

Now with Collins gone to the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas needs to add a new starter to the line. That could still come in free agency, but Dallas is clearly considering adding one through the draft, per NFL media insider Jane Slater.

“OL Kenyon Green and DL DeMarvin Leal tell me they have both been scheduled for a visit with the #Cowboys,” Slater Tweeted.

Both Texas A&M players are coming off selections to the AP’s first-team All-American in 2021, and are both considered to be Day 1 or Day 2 picks. While Leal would be a solid addition on the defensive line, Green represents a more pressing need, and a player who can provide help in multiple different areas.

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Green as a Fit on the Cowboys

Dallas likes offensive lineman that can move around. With how often injuries befell lineman these days, it’s important to have versatile players who can move around and still protect quarterback Dak Prescott.

Green is certainly that. As Texas A&M’s website shows, the 21-year-old started a game at every position but center in the 2021 season. He started at left guard for the most part, but the Aggies’ premier 41-38 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide saw him start at left tackle.

Essentially, Green played all across the line and performed well enough that he was named as one of the best lineman in the country. If he arrived in Dallas as a first-round pick, he’d either start where Collins used to be at left tackle, or move to the left guard spot that is currently being held by Connor McGovern.

McGovern has 14 starts to his name since being drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft, but it feels clear that he’s, at best, a depth option for the interior offensive line. Green may be coming out of college, but he started all 35 games he could while healthy and racked up numerous honors along the way.

Other Texas A&M Star Meeting Cowboys

Besides Green, Leal is also sitting down with Dallas ahead of the NFL draft. While The Draft Network has the defensive tackle likely to be selected in the first round, the outlet predicts Leal as a second-round pick.

Leal has been a key cog for Texas A&M since his arrival in 2019, but put up his best college numbers in 2021. After a total of 4.5 sacks in 23 games for his first two years, Leal exploded with 8.5 sacks in 2021.

That is partially due to Leal rotating around the line more in his senior year, but it’s always encouraging to see a player on the upswing. At 6’4″ and 283 pounds, Leal has the athleticism and body to make the most of where ever he’s attacking the offensive line, but his best fit in the NFL and on the Cowboys appears to be as a 3T defensive tackle.

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John Wade
John Wade
1 year ago

The 1st pick will be the C if he’s still there.