FRISCO, Texas – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said guard La'el Collins is "less likely" to have surgery on his big toe injury suffered in last Sunday's 31-17 win over the Chicago Bears.
There's a chance Collins misses extended time, but Jones didn't provide a timetable.
"It's a pain thing and we'll see how he tolerates it," Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. "He's a tough, tough player and has a high tolerance for pain. He'll probably not have surgery and see if he can work through this."
For reference, linebacker Sean Lee and defensive tackle Terrell McClain suffered ligament damage to their big toe in 2012 and 2015, respectively, and had surgery that landed them on injured reserve.
Collins has started 14 games at left guard since his 2015 rookie season. Ronald Leary replaced Collins against the Bears and would start in his absence.
Leary, the team's full-time starting left guard from 2012-14, lost his job to Collins midway through last season. He didn't participate in the voluntary portions of the offseason program this past spring and was the subject of trade rumors.
But the Cowboys never intended to trade Leary because they valued his experience as a quality backup. Now they're fortunate the career 35-game starter can step into the starting lineup again.
"The dropoff isn't as acute as it might've been," Jones said. "Boy, am I glad we didn't take trade bait and kept him."
The other starter on the left side of the offensive line, All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith, missed the Bears game with a back tightness, but head coach Jason Garrett said Monday he was hopeful Smith could return to practice this week.