FRISCO, Texas – Jason Garrett is prepared to be without Maliek Collins for the time being.
The Cowboys' head coach spoke to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, and he confirmed that his third-year defensive tackle is undergoing surgery after fracturing his fifth metatarsal during veteran workouts on Thursday.
"We anticipate him having him surgery here to get that thing fixed, and then he just has to rehab day by day by day," Garrett said.
Collins was bothered by the same foot throughout the 2017 season, eventually undergoing surgery in January. Despite this latest setback, there's optimism that he could be ready to return before the Cowboys open the regular season in September.
"They give us different timetables. We've heard three months or so. Hopefully he'll be ready at some point in training camp," Garrett said. "The biggest thing he has to do is make sure he does whatever the doctors tell him to do."
Even before Collins was injured, the Cowboys were looking to bolster their interior defensive line by re-signing Terrell McClain. The veteran defensive tackle spent three years with the Cowboys, before leaving for Washington in free agency last year. Following a defense-heavy draft, though, the Redskins released McClain just one year into a four-year, $21 million contract.
"Had a good visit with him the other day," Garrett said. "He came in and we met with him as coaches. He worked out for us. Thought that was a good thing, and we'll continue the conversation."
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, McClain had several other opportunities. He visited with San Francisco and Miami prior to coming to Dallas, and on Friday he visited Atlanta – where he eventually agreed to a new deal.
With McClain off to Atlanta and Collins temporarily sidelined, it'll be interesting to see if the Cowboys continue to look at the position. They acquired Jihad Ward in a trade during draft weekend, and they still have veterans like David Irving, Brian Price and Richard Ash.
Still, it wouldn't be shocking if they opted to bring in some additional competition as they face the prospect of opening training camp without Collins.