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All-22 Notes: No Doubt Connor Williams Should Start at Left Guard

The feature two guys along their that finished with double-digit in 2018; Defensive and . Both guys were problems for the in their first matchup in Seattle back in September, but aside from a sack by Clark on a miscommunication between and , they were for the most part held in check. And Connor Williams was a big reason for that.

Williams who was making the start in favor of the injured who had been the starter at left for much of the second half of the season, played really well in his first playoff game and looked much more comfortable at left guard than he had earlier in the season.

In order to get an appreciation of Williams performance, which was solid, I took a look at the All-22 and here's what I saw.

  • There were only a couple of times when studying Williams on the coaches film where he was pushed back into 's lap, but while it may have messed up Prescott's timing, he was still able to get the throw off and they didn't result in negative plays. Williams held up well for much of the night, using solid leverage and grip strength to control the opposition.
  • Williams for much of the game looked like the guy who was an All-American at left tackle. Using his superb footwork to work guys to the outside instead of relying on his strength, which as an undersized guard he's still trying to develop.
  • In the , Williams moved as well as you would expect. The Dallas Cowboys staff attempted to get him to the second level a lot to seal linebackers in the running game, which he was able to do pretty well. Other times, he was sealing off the as the play went to the right side of the and wasn't asked to do a lot.
  • On the goal line scores for both Dak Prescott and , Williams was able to get good movement even though the runs went to the right.
  • If there was an area that Connor Williams can improve from the win over the Seahawks it's in his communication with Tyron Smith. The Seattle Seahawks attempted to run end-tackle stunts between the right defensive end and the 3-technique defensive tackle and by my count, Smith and Williams were at about 50% in picking those up. The lone sack allowed in the game was on one such stunt where Williams failed to realize that Smith was passing Clark off to the left guard who was deeply engaged with the defensive tackle and didn't disengage to pick up the twisting Clark. There was at least one other time when they didn't pick up this twist, but Dak was able to see the pressure and get rid of the ball before he took a hit.

Connor Williams had a good game at left guard on Saturday and should stay in the starting lineup moving forward. Even prior to the wild card win over Seattle, Williams had been playing better than Xavier Su'a-Filo. Williams has shown that he's adapted better to the NFL game now with 11 starts under his belt. He's only going to get better.

He and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys interior are going to have a tough matchup this week with the and All-Pro Defensive Tackle , but Williams seems to be settling in to life at the NFL level. He'll have to be as good as he was against Seattle to keep Dak clean and open holes for Ezekiel Elliott in the running game for the Cowboys to be able to move on to the Game.

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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