FRISCO, Texas –Defensive tackle Maliek Collins broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot Thursday during the Cowboys' voluntary offseason strength and conditioning workout program.
The injury is expected to require surgery, and the Cowboys seem hopeful Collins can be ready for the start of the season. Whether he can return before then remains to be seen.
Collins, a third-round pick in 2016, has been a starter on the defensive line for the last two years.
He had surgery in January to address a stress reaction in his left foot that kept him on the weekly injury report for much of last season. He did not miss a game.
Two years ago, Collins broke his right foot during organized team activities and missed a good portion of the offseason.
In 30 starts of the last two seasons, he has 45 tackles, 7.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Before Collins' injury, the Cowboys had already been eyeing more depth at defensive tackle. Veteran free agent Terrell McClain, who started alongside Collins in 2016, visited with team officials on Wednesday and Thursday. As of late Thursday, a deal has not been struck, with reports that McClain might be weighing other options first before making a decision.