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La'el Collins Continues To Show Toughness Playing Through Back Issue

FRISCO, Texas –Head coach Jason Garrett has said it many times over the years: The Cowboys are for practice.

The work week is critical to a player's preparation for game day, no matter how long he's been in the league.

That's what makes La'el Collins' last two starts at right tackle so impressive.

The third-year pro hasn't practiced the last two weeks due to a back injury, but he's done a solid job protecting quarterback Dak Prescott against top pass rushers such as the Redskins' Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith and the Giants' Olivier Vernon and Jason-Pierre Paul.

The Cowboys (7-6) have won both games to stay in the current NFC playoff race.

"He has done a really nice job the last couple of weeks where he hasn't practiced very much and he is getting himself ready by the time he is spending in meetings and walkthrough and he is able to go out there and function fairly well," Garrett said of Collins. "Typically against pretty good players, too. He's a tough guy. He loves to play football. He has always been a real competitor. And a guy who fights and loves the physical part of the game.

"We are still for practice. Practice makes everybody better. If a guy can't function during the week, but you can get him to the game, in a case like that it's important for a guy to be able to do that. He's handled it really well the last couple weeks."

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