The Cowboys' reorganization of their salary cap has forced them to part ways with their starting right tackle.
Dallas will release La'el Collins on Thursday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed of the decision. The team later announced the roster move.
The move is clearly a cost-cutting one expected to save Dallas $10 million in what logically should be a post-June 1 designation. The move will further assist the Cowboys in getting in a better financial position after trading Amari Cooper (and his $20 million cap number) to Cleveland and using new cap space to extend Demarcus Lawrence and re-sign Michael Gallup.
Collins' departure has been expected for at least a week. Rapoport reported on March 10 that Dallas was having active trade conversations involving Collins, who has been a productive tackle when able to play. The last two seasons have been a struggle for Collins, who missed all of 2020 due to injury and was suspended five games in 2021.
Collins has been an excellent run blocker and a solid pass protector in Dallas, where he began his NFL career after going undrafted in 2015. He's been one half of a vitally important duo of tackles for the Cowboys, but his unavailability and the financial savings created by parting ways with Collins were enough for Dallas to make the move.
At 28 years old, Collins will attract interest elsewhere in an NFL that still lacks quality offensive linemen who are readily available. The reigning AFC champion Bengals are one team to watch in particular, and Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo later reported Collins is set to visit Cincinnati.