Talk about insult to injury.
One day after the Cowboys lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to open the 2021 NFL season on a down note, Dallas lost its starting right tackle until Week 7.
ESPN's NFL insider Adam Schefter reported Friday afternoon that La'el Collins was suspended five games by the NFL for violating its substance policy:
That means, barring something significant changing, Collins will not be available for the Cowboys when they host the Eagles on Monday Night Football in Week 3.
Collins, 28, missed all of 2020 after undergoing hip surgery, and is one of the key pieces on an offensive line that many expected to be among the league's best heading into this year.
Collins took all 83 snaps on Thursday night against the Bucs and earned a 72.3 grade out of 100 from Pro Football Focus for his performance.
The Cowboys' run game didn't have much oomph against Tampa, but part of that seemed to be a lack of burst from Ezekiel Elliott rather than an inability to control the Bucs' front seven.
In fact, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was only sacked once while attempting 58 passes, a pretty solid feat considering the havoc that very same Buccaneers front was able to generate all of last year and in the Super Bowl - even if that championship performance came against a banged-up Chiefs O-line.
The Cowboys were without six-time Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin, arguably the best right guard in the NFL, on Thursday night after he tested positive for COVID-19 in the week leading up to the game. Martin could play in Week 2, but even still that would mean the Cowboys don't get their full offensive line until Week 7 this season.
They'll also be without wide receiver Michael Gallup, who suffered a calf strain Thursday night, for three to five weeks, which takes him out of the equation for the Week 3 Eagles game.
Not exactly the start Jerry Jones's team was looking for.
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