Patience has grown past weary. Anticipation has morphed into frustration. Then, as blatant as one would describe, this Cowboys offense stinks. Analytically, there is no positive to build upon and the numbers are depressing enough. Dropping a 16-19 OT loss to the Houston Texans, the consensus on where to fix all of this is well known enough not to repeat it.
Though statistics may have not suggested the Cowboys a daunting task against this Texans defense, the real challenge laid ahead in the trenches. From end to end, Houston boasts Jadeveon Clowney, DJ Reader, and JJ Watt. On the night, they would combine for 9 tackles and 1.5 sacks. As important as it is, pressures are not presented, but given the past few weeks from Watt himself, the OL did their job. Specifically, La’El Collins.
If someone honestly wanted too, they could argue that Collins outperformed Tyron Smith guarding Clowney, then Collins did against Watt. Now, this is not a shot at the elite talent Smith is, but credit has to be given where it’s due.
First, it lies with Zack Martin being able to slide over and help Collins, but pay attention to La’El. Though Watt would push him back some on the initial punch, he was able to kick back and reset his base, allowing Martin to assist in creating a pancake.
J.J. Watt vs. La'el Collins 👀 pic.twitter.com/dSXDGJPUor
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) October 8, 2018
Then, the athleticism of Collins would essentially be the reason why Swaim would be able to pick up 20 more yards, on perhaps one of the couple big plays this offense had.
End zone angle of the slip screen. Nice job by Dak of selling the fake with eyes. Zack Martin block in space was key. Mathieu didn't want that smoke with La'el Collins pic.twitter.com/VQS6dHqFDs
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) October 9, 2018
Again, and thanks to John Owning, La’El is found in the mix of the little goodness this offense provided.
Loved play design to get the 1st down on 3rd and 2. Fake toss to Austin then shovel pass to Elliott. Nice 2nd level block by La'el Collins to creat the alley for Zeke. pic.twitter.com/RuyXiOJJuZ
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) October 8, 2018
Little note on the previous play, that was one of the four third downs Dallas would convert on the night, out of the 14 attempts. While this offense remained atrocious, Collins shined. Five weeks in, change seems absent from the coaches, but that does not look the case in what we should expect out and have known with La’El. Ahead on the schedule, Sacksonville arrives in Dallas and that defensive line cares for no one on the other side. Collins hands will be full all night, but he is battle-tested and ready.
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