Panic set in after the Dallas Cowboys were suspended for five games with the right tackle La’el Collins in September. It may have been a hidden blessing as it led to the appearance of Terence Steele, who stepped in more than admirably in Collins’ absence.
So much so that some fans are wondering if Collins will get the right starting place back when he returns. During an interview with Dallas’ 105.3 the Fan, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted that Steele had an “argument” to keep the starting place and did not definitely say that Collins would automatically retire his role on the line-up.
“I think it’s okay to have a fight, a case, whatever and boy, right?” Jones remarked on October 12th. “He just played brilliantly. Boy, he showed me that in this game, and in this game with the cowboys, he has a long-term future. So, relatively speaking, he played really well.
“But that doesn’t mean that La’el Collins is less of a player. La’el Collins is a significant member of the team. This just gives us what you are hoping for and that is a young player who is moving up and gives us depth and gives us an alternative if you will. All of that is there. “
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It’s a good problem for the Cowboys, no matter who Mike McCarthy is playing, when Collins returns in Week 8. Steele’s agent Erik Burkhardt recently announced that the Cowboys had received calls in the preseason about a possible deal with Collins. The value of the offensive lineman has only increased since he was accepted into the starting XI.
“@ Terencesteele78 is perhaps the hardest working and most dedicated customer I have ever represented.” Burkhardt tweeted on October 4th. “He’s just on another level. All the work is paying off. I believe several teams called the Cowboys this preseason to act for him as they see his tremendous advantages and his future. ”
Steele received a 69 rating from Pro Football Focus for his game through week 5. This is a sharp increase from the grim score of 53 in 2020. It’s not just the cowboys who are seeing Steele’s improvement, as the tackle is also causing a stir around the NFL.
“I spoke to a professional recruiter who does some preliminary work for the cowboys … Terence Steele got some serious props.” Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports on Twitter on October 4th. “That evaluator says Steele is one of the most improved players on the Dallas squad this season.”
Steele attributes his turnaround to “work”[ing] his bum off ”over the off-season. The hard work has paid off as Steele appears to have proven he is an incipient NFL offensive linemen.
“To play in this league, you have to have great confidence in yourself,” said Steele via The Athletic’s Jon Machota in September. “I’ve worked my butt off the whole off-season, just for this moment to prepare for this moment. I still have to build on that. … I feel more comfortable out here than last year. I didn’t have a preseason. I feel more confident in my abilities this year. “