Normally, the Cowboys helping fill out their roster with the post-draft signing of an undrafted free agent would barely be news. With some notable exceptions, rookies not taken in the draft end up being scout team or training camp fodder.
Dallas' signing of LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins is anything but normal.
As of the beginning of April, most experts expected Collins to go in the top half of the first round. Last season, he was second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC. Collins is a very good player, one who would start for every NFL team.
He wasn't drafted at all.
Just before April 30's draft, Baton Rouge police said publicly they hoped to talk to Collins about the shooting death of a 29-year-old woman thought to be his ex-girlfriend. Brittany Mills, who was pregnant, was killed April 24. Her son was successfully delivered but died on May 1.
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Baton Rouge police never said Collins was a suspect or even a person of interest. During his May 4 interview, the department said he "fully cooperated." A paternity test confirmed he was not the father of Mills' son, and he reportedly passed a lie detector test.
That was good enough, apparently, for Jerry Jones. Thursday afternoon, the Cowboys signed Collins to a three-year, fully guaranteed contract.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) May 7, 2015