What an exciting rookie class for the Dallas Cowboys. Within the first three rounds of the Draft, the front office was able to find three week 1 starters, along with one or two gems in the later rounds who could end up starting at some point of the season.
In terms of value, the Cowboys’ best pick in the 2018 NFL Draft might just be Connor Williams. In the eyes of many, Williams was worthy of a first round pick and his name continued to appear in plenty of mock drafts.
However, coming off from an injury and having to switch positions in college made him tumble all the way into the second round, with the names of Austin Corbett and Braden Smith being called ahead of him.
The Cowboys, who ended up drafting Williams at #50 seem to have walked away with a big-time steal. Now, Williams will start for them at left guard, playing between two All-Pros in Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith.
But Williams is more than just a rookie. Williams might just be the most important rookie in the Dallas Cowboys this upcoming season and he just might define the team’s success in 2018.
Left guard was definitely a big concern for the team heading into the offseason. In 2017, the Cowboys ended up trusting Jonathan Cooper with the starting spot at LG, which turned out okay. Cooper did a decent job and helped the team establish a solid running game when he was plugged in and Chaz Green was benched.
However, the offensive line struggled at LG. Even when Tyron Smith was healthy, the team simply did not have the same offensive line it did in 2016, when Ron Leary and Doug Free were in Dallas.
With that offensive line, it’s pretty hard to imagine Ezekiel Elliott running for just eight yards versus the Denver Broncos in week 2.
Truth be told, I believed Cooper could’ve been this team’s left guard in 2018 and the Cowboys wouldn’t have had a problem running the football. Having said that, Connor Williams is clearly an upgrade over the 28-year old veteran who will play in San Francisco next season.
With the offense’s identity clearly revolving around Zeke and the running game, it was very important for the team to figure out the offensive line’s only vacant spot, and they did a great job finding Williams with the 50th overall pick.
The Cowboys’ OL was undoubtedly the best in 2014 and in 2016. Last season, they lost that title with a barely-average LG and an injured LT.
This is the year in which the unit will try to reclaim it’s title of being the best in the league and rookie Connor Williams will have to step up in order for them to do so.
With Dak Prescott aiming to prove his worth in his third year in the NFL and Ezekiel Elliott trying to make up for last season’s suspension, Williams arrived to Dallas just in time.
It may seem like a simple addition, but by establishing a great running game and keeping the pocket clean, the Cowboys’ offense will have what it takes to get going and make a championship run.