The Cowboys signed tackle La’el Collins as an undrafted free agent on Thursday, which usually isn’t the kind of roster move that’s followed by a press conference.
Collins isn’t the usual undrafted free agent, though. He was a potential first-round pick who went undrafted last week while he waited to speak to the Baton Rouge police about a pair of murders they said he wasn’t suspected of committing at the time and again after speaking to him on Monday. That interview jumpstarted Collins’ courtship by NFL teams and he explained why he chose the Cowboys over the other interested parties.
“I got a call from [Cowboys owner Jerry] Jones a couple nights ago and we had a long talk … First time I thought someone had seen me for who I am,” Collins said, via David Helman of the team’s website. “I had the opportunity to choose, from 32 teams, where I wanted to be. I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy.”
Collins shrugged off the drop in salary associated with dropping out of the draft, saying that it’s more than he made in college. It probably doesn’t hurt that he joins a talented Cowboys offensive line and the rookie didn’t waste much time making a big prediction about what he thinks his addition will mean to the group.
“This is going to be the best offensive line in NFL history. Mark my words,” Collins said.
Coach Jason Garrett said that Collins can play both guard and tackle, adding that they’ll sort out their best five players in the coming months. He also called Collins mature and tough “beyond his years,” two traits that should help him as he tries to be part of that quintet in his first NFL season.
[Photo credit: @dallascowboys on Twitter]