The Dallas Cowboys have been teasing footage of Dak Prescott appearing back at full strength on the field but not everyone has forgotten seeing the franchise quarterback being carted off the field in October. After getting an up-close look at Prescott’s long road to recovery, Cowboys starting tackle La’el Collins made a promise to “protect him at all cost” moving forward.
“You see everything that he’s doing,” Collins said in a June 3rd press conference. “I mean, even when it’s tough, he push through. He’s definitely a big-time leader. Man, it gives me chills to think about it, because he don’t complain, even if things are bothering him. He just finds a way to keep going and keep pushing through that goes a long way with guys. Especially, there’s been days where we be out there and it’s like, ‘Man, it’s a tough day.’ But he keeps going, and it just makes everybody else want to keep going, especially me. When I see that guy, that’s who I do it for, I do it for that guy. That’s my locker mate, and I’ll protect him at all cost.”
Collins has been hard at work as well losing 10 pounds this offseason, per NFL Network’s Jane Slater. With the majority of Cowboys players participating in voluntary workouts this offseason, it will be worth watching to see if the team can get off to a fast start in 2021.
“Cowboys OT La’el Collins says he weighs 323 now at 313 wants to get closer to 308,310,” Slater tweeted. “Running, working out a lot shredding a lot of weight. Strength still there he says.”
Prescott on Running: ‘I’ve Got to Be Smarter’
While Collins wants to be protective of Prescott, the Cowboys quarterback sustained the injury on a scramble against the Giants. Even if the offensive line was not to blame for Prescott’s injury, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is sure to love hearing his offensive linemen renew their commitment to keeping the franchise quarterback upright. We can expect Prescott to still run the ball on occasion, but the Cowboys quarterback admitted he has to be “smarter” heading into next season.
“I’ve got to be smarter,” Prescott said in March, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “Before the injury, going back to high school I was told to be smarter on when I want to demonstrate my physicality or when I want to try to make a point in the game or change the momentum. That’s no different. I have to be smarter. With this investment, with my health being jeopardized at a certain point, it makes a whole lot more sense to me about being smarter and why people have said that.”
Prescott: ‘I Don’t Know If I Can Ever Tone That Down’
The Cowboys will try to find the balance between being cautious and still utilizing Prescott’s rushing ability to force defenses to account for his mobility. Prescott noted that one way to utilize his legs but remain cautious is to slide instead of fighting for extra yards.
“Back in the day as a young bull, I guess it was very hard to understand,” Prescott added. “Now, I mean on a play like that, first down, you’re going down. You’re sliding. But to say that the game’s on the line, it’s a first down or it’s the red zone, and I’m going there. That’s who I am. I don’t know if I can ever tone that down. And if I do, then y’all are changing who I am. But there are certain plays, there are certain times that I’ll be a much smarter player and decide when to not use my physicality during the run, just taking care of myself. The best ability is durability, and I have to be there for my team.”