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    Could Connor Williams Be Option at Tight End for Cowboys?

    The play on a short week tomorrow, facing the rival on for the third time since 2012. Winners of two straight to even their record at 5-5, the Cowboys need to be in must-win mode against the 6-4 Redskins still. The Cowboys recent wins at the Eagles and Falcons showed signs of this offense turning the corner. Though this short week presents new challenges to the offense, the Cowboys personnel changes have worked to their benefit.

    One such change was the promotion of to . The Cowboys immediately elevated their level of play under Colombo, despite dropping his first game at home to the Titans. This was the last game rookie started.

    Suffering a knee that kept him out two weeks ago in Philadelphia, the Cowboys turned to their depth signing in . With so many other changes on offense, including the addition of , it's difficult to measure Su'a-Filo's true impact at the LG spot. The experienced starter has outplayed Williams in two starts, most recently with Williams healthy to play in Atlanta.

    The Cowboys still have plenty of reasons to believe that Williams will be a great player for them, and may even have an opportunity for the pick to get back on the field as soon as tomorrow.

    Dalton Schultz
    Dallas Cowboys TE

    With injured at , the Cowboys are likely turning to another rookie in Dalton Schultz. The Stanford product has flashed in limited opportunity as a blocker this season, but like his fellow TEs on the roster offers little in the .

    Lining Williams up at tight end in “Jumbo” formations may be an outside-the-box solution for the Cowboys. 41% (89 of 217) of the Cowboys hand offs this season have come with Swaim on the field, showing this offense will still need to value the TE position in the .

    Schultz has played just 31 run snaps this season, compared to 211 for Williams. The collegiate has struggled where Su'a-Filo has thrived at left guard. Anchoring against bigger, stronger defensive tackles was not Williams' strength in eight starts.

    Using Williams for down after down against even more athletic and faster rushers is not the way for the Cowboys to instill confidence in their 50th overall pick. With much more experience blocking on the end of the line of scrimmage, Williams could still prove a serviceable tight end when playing on the move and opening holes for .

    Could Connor Williams Be Option at Tight End for Cowboys?
    Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

    Surviving an injury scare in Philadelphia, has powered the Cowboys running game as his usual self ever since. The trio of Martin, , and Williams on the right side of the Cowboys line is a potentially devastating one to the Redskins Thursday. The Cowboys don't have to look far to find linemen that have performed at tight end before, with starting Joe Looney playing in this role at times last season.

    With all respect to Looney, who has filled in exceptionally for , the Cowboys have bigger long-term plans for Williams. Keeping a young, healthy player off the field for the remainder of the season could be damaging to this outlook for Connor. Allowing him to play just a few snaps at tight end feels like an ideal way to keep him involved but maintain the Cowboys identity in the running game without further personnel changes.

    Behind Schultz, and before Williams, the Cowboys remaining options at tight end are and . Gathers is much more of a receiving threat than a blocker, with the same likely being true of the seldom-used Jarwin.

    Marc Colombo has been a fantastic addition to the Cowboys staff, most importantly bringing experience to a relatively new staff at the positional level. First year tight end coach is looking for answers quickly at his position, and may just find them from the surplus of depth at the team's best position.

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    Sean Martin
    Sean Martinhttp://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/
    Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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    DevilDog58

    Why did they keep Dalton on the roster if they don’t trust him to fill in when the starter goes down? To be honest, I’m sick of hearing about Gather’s potential w/o ever seeing it. Conner could be used as a blocker in place of the TE but by no means should he replace the guy who has out played him since he was hurt. The coaching staff has to quit playing people based on where they were drafted and play them based on how they perform. After Witten retired, I heard Jarwin couldn’t catch either. He made an excellent shoestring catch on a poor pass from Dak but it was amazing Dak even got that ball off. I say leave the OL alone and play that rookie, Dalton at TE. Sometimes Dallas just needs to take a leap of faith.

    Steve

    Agreed @ DevilDog58, IMO all that playing guys where they are drafted and keeping guys in there instead of playing rookies and seeing what they have is ALL Garrett and even if our boys make a playoff run or win the division Jason G. Has got to go! He is way to complacent and until last week we had one of the top penalty happy teams in the league and yes we are one of the youngest teams in the NFL, but there isn’t any excuses because that comes from the HC and his watching the game unfold like a robot! Sad really because we NEED a new HC to motivate and LEAD our young boys and they will follow someone with direction and drive!

    Sexcdex Xfact

    Where Schultz, Jarwin & Rico have struggled blocking CWill is good enough for obvious rushing downs & short-yardage downs
    He’s athletic enough to pull block for Zeke & Rod

    Can he catch?

    But it’s far past time to test Rico Gathers
    He won’t be worth even trade bait without further showcasing his skills

    All 22 film show Schultz was blocking the wrong man on several occasions vs ATL
    Jarwin’s just as inept
    Play Rico much & integrate the others is my opinion
    Film shows his blocking has improved much anyway so why not?

    Lord knows we past on a FA tightend before trade deadline
    Play the hand we’ve dealt ourselves

    DevilDog58

    Great points in your post. I doubt if Conners can catch but wouldn’t it be amazing if he could? I secretly hope he can and Linehan is waiting for the right moment to spring it on the Saints! The only problem with that is that I know Linehan is not that clever. If he was we’d be undefeated. Most of the problems we have are due to our organization’s ineptitude. Think about it: if we fired Garrett and Linehan right now, what team would be stupid enough to hire them for ANYTHING???

    Ddenney1

    He can’t block at guard so why not a NON CATCHING TIGHT END on run plays! He had a really crappie last year at Texas even though he was a PRE SEASON All American! I did not like this pick but I hope I’m wrong!

    oneputter

    i think we need to get rod smith playing a hybrid TE position on passing downs.

    go with a 21 personnel with smith being one of the TE’s who is might be covered by a slow LB, get him up the seam or working him underneath to the middle of the field, think about what that would open up for us.

    we have to start using the talent we have as the possibility of making playoffs is within our reach.

    DevilDog58

    I agree. We need to think OUTSIDE THE BOX. We have so many players who have talent that we don’t use enough (or at all). Of course Rod’s a backup so maybe they’re hesitant to use him in other schemes or positions. But I’m with you; let’s at least try something unorthodox that the Saints haven’t ever seen on tape from us. Another one would be throwing Gathers the ball more than once. With the amount of tape they have on him he should be open on plenty of plays.