The Cowboys offensive lineman agreed to a two-year contract extension Tuesday worth $15.4 million, a source informed of the deal told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Collins, 23, can now roughly recoup his lost salary from a wild 2015 draft where he would have been considered a first-round pick.
Collins slid out of the draft altogether after his name arose in connection with the murder of a 29-year-old pregnant woman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the waning rounds of the 2015 draft, Collins' representatives instructed teams not to pick the former LSU star so that he could sign where he wanted in free agency and be able to reach a second contract sooner. Collins was never considered a suspect in the case, though many teams stayed away while scrambling for information.
Dallas came calling and welcomed the talented blocker into the best offensive line in football. Now, he's expected to dig in as the club's right tackle this season following the retirement of Doug Free.
While it was a wayward path for Collins, his career and life now seem back on track. The deal extends Collins through the 2019 season and still gives him the chance to sign a substantial deal well before he hits age 30.
After starting 11 games during his rookie season, Collins made three starts last year before sustaining a significant big toe sprain. He was eventually placed on injured reserve in early October and re-activated in January.
The deal is a tremendous show of faith given less than a season's worth of work. However, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones knows he cannot take any chances when an up-tempo running game drives the team's offense. Good, young offensive line help is hard to find these days and Collins' new deal reflects as much.