La'el Collins last played a game Dec. 29, 2019. He missed all of last season with a hip injury that required surgery in October.
“It was tough,” Collins said, via Jonny Auping of the team website. “I kept going back and forth with myself. If I had to get the surgery done, I was going to have to miss the season. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to at all, but it was something that had to be done. Now, I feel good. And I’m ready to rock.”
The Cowboys continue to limit their starting right tackle in organized team activities as he works his way back. But the plan is for Collins to be a full participant by the start of training camp next month.
“To be honest with you, I’m just starting to feel like myself again,” Collins said. “And it feels good. I’m working overtime with treatment and physical therapy to make sure that this thing is right. All the hard work is definitely paying off.”
Collins, who turns 28 next month, has lost about 10 pounds down to 313. He has a goal of 308 after playing 2019 at 323.
“That’s definitely the mindset,” Collins said. “Stay as lean as possible and keep a lot of muscle. I learned a lot about nutrition and what I need to put in my body and what I don’t need to put in my body. You’re going to have to make those changes so you can get everything that you need out of your body.”
Collins missed all 16 games last season and left tackle Tyron Smith played only two. Right guard Zack Martin missed six games. With Collins, Smith and Martin back to health, quarterback Dak Prescott should feel comfortable in the pocket as he returns from an ankle injury that kept him out 11 games.