Cowboys Rumors: La'el Collins Agrees to 5-Year, $50M Contract Extension

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2019

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14:  La'el Collins #71 of the Dallas Cowboys drops back to pass block during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at AT&T Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  The Cowboys defeated the Jaguars 40-7.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys reached an agreement on a five-year extension with offensive lineman La'el Collins on Tuesday, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the agreement is worth $50 million, with $35 million guaranteed, the highest such guarantee for a right tackle. Earlier, Schefter reported the deal makes Collins one of the NFL's five highest-paid right tackles. Schefter added the extension created $5.7 million in salary-cap space for the Cowboys.

The 26-year-old had been set to enter the final season of his contract after he signed a two-year, $17.4 million extension in July 2017.

Collins started his professional career on the left side of Dallas' offensive line but has spent the past two seasons as the starting right tackle. After playing just three games in 2016 because of a torn ligament in his foot, he has started all 34 games (postseason included) since the beginning of 2017.

According to Pro Football Focus' Ben Cooper, Collins allowed 47 quarterback pressures and eight sacks, with the latter being the fifth-most among tackles. It's important to note, though, that he also registered the ninth-most pass-blocking snaps among tackles, per Cooper.

Regarded as a potential top-10 pick coming out of LSU in 2015, Collins went undrafted as he was  interviewed by police regarding the shooting death of his former girlfriend.

Looking back on his decision to sign with the Cowboys that offseason, he said Monday it was a career-defining move, per ESPN.com's Todd Archer:

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"Obviously I think this is been one of the best things that happened to me going in. For me, it prolonged my career in a way of the coaching I've been able to get since I've been here, coming in working with Coach Frank (Pollack) the way he helped me develop as a player, the way Coach (Marc) Colombo helped me develop as a player. Just learning some things from those guys, learning things from veteran guys when I got here has really helped me. I wouldn't trade it for the world. So I'm excited to be where I am in my career right now going into Year 5, Year 3 at right tackle. I'm just ready to go out there and show what kind of player I am this year and what kind of unit we are as a group."

With Collins up front, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has led the league in rushing in two of the last three seasons. Elliott has also led the league in rushing yards per game in each of the last three campaigns.

The offensive line has played a major role in Dallas' two NFC East titles in the past three years. With Collins signed, the majority of the unit is locked up for the foreseeable future.

This comes after Dallas inked linebacker Jaylon Smith to a five-year, $64 million extension in late August. Of note, Elliott (who is holding out), quarterback Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper have yet to sign long-term deals.

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