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Film Room: OL Connor Williams Is Cowboys’ Final Piece To Great Run Game

Kevin Brady

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After drafting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cowboys decided to sure-up their offensive line in round two. With their second pick, the Cowboys drafted home-state lineman Connor Williams with the hopes of moving him from left tackle to left guard.

The 6'5" 291 pound offensive lineman was considered a consensus first round pick heading into 2017, before injuries plagued his final collegiate season. Williams was still able to have a good-enough 2017 season when healthy, and was certainly deserving of being a top 50 pick.

But what are the Cowboys getting in Connor Williams? Let's take a look at the tape and examine what he can bring to Dallas.

The first thing you notice when watching Connor Williams is his demeanor. When drafting offensive linemen, you want them to be the nastiest dudes on the field. You want them to take pride in destroying their opponents will and dominating them each snap.

Connor Williams fits that bill perfectly.

2018 nfl draft connor williams

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As a pass blocker, Williams displays smooth feet, excellent balance, and overall efficiency in his pass set. Rarely did I see Williams overextend or get knocked off balance, and with his ability to re-anchor he did a nice job against bull rushers as well. According to Pro Football Focus, Williams did not give up a single sack over three seasons at Texas.

At left tackle here we see Williams remain patient with his hands before delivering a powerful punch. He then extends the pass rusher around the arc before flipping his hips and driving him upfield. Then, we see Williams' ability to finish and dominate his opponents.

2018 nfl draft connor williams 2

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As a run blocker, Connor Williams is able to display that nastiness as well. Williams has a quick get off, smooth hips, and powerful leg drive when moving defenders off the ball. He is at his best when down blocking and washing defenders down the line of scrimmage.

Here we see Williams in one of those down blocking situations. He is able to put pressure in the defensive end's ear-hole, and overpower him before bringing him to the ground.

Moving to guard Williams will be asked to pull more often than he did at Texas, but with his athletic ability and skill at the second level I see no reason why he can't be effective doing so.

2018 nfl draft connor williams 4

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There are, of course, some negatives to Connor Williams' game. While his lower body is downright text book at times, Williams does have some issues remaining consistent with his punch. This can cause him to land his hands outside, resulting in some opportunities to be called for holding. Williams could also gain some strengthen in both his lower and upper body to help him against bigger defensive tackles in the NFL.

As soon as the Cowboys drafted Williams everyone began wondering if he will be played at guard or tackle. In an ideal world, La'el Collins would stay at right tackle and Williams will kick down to left guard. Williams doesn't have very long arms, and can struggle against speed rushers at times. But at guard, he will be an excellent fit.

Overall, I love the Cowboys selection of Connor Williams 50th overall. He should be an immediate starter at left guard for the Cowboys, and will be the final piece to making their run game great once again.


Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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3 Comments
  • Saul Molina

    I have no problem with williams the only issue I see he will have to add about 15 to 20 pounds

  • Russ_Te

    I see agility on his tape but not a quick player. That could be wrong. But coming off a knee injury, I think he would have fallen down the draft and I don’t like the pick at 2nd round. Will be happy to have Williams correct me.

    If he catches on we can probably get a swing OL’er out of it. They should ask him to add bulk immediately, and we’ll see if he can win the LG job. I like Fleming and still think we need one more prospect on the OL.

  • Not your goat

    I absolutely love this pick! Coming into day 2 of the draft i wanted Dallas to make a move up in the 2nd and grab Hernandez but that was short lived and I started looking up Linemen further down the board not even realizing Williams was still there. Right before the pick i looked at the BR big board and couldn’t believe my eyes. Obviously Philly failed themselves thinking they were spoilers and sending a kicker up to talk shit but OL was our absolute #1 need at that point after what happened in 2017 w/ the Smith injury and the LG carousel all season, even more than WR and TE. My cousin is Jane Slater from the NFL Network and she even said Williams was #13 on Dallas’ big board in the War Room so the value at that pick was tremendous and could not have been more fortuitous being able to take the best available player and our biggest need at the same time. I feel the same about 4 of our next 7 picks as well. This team is ready to make a rebound and run the East again now that the OL is addressed, secondary is a year older and we don’t have to start the year missing players from suspension or the distraction of fighting them (w/ the hope David Irving’s gf is doesn’t know what she’s talking about). 2018 might not have been Dallas’ sexiest draft of all time but it was exactly what the Cowboys needed to get back on track.

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Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary

Sean Martin

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Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary 1

The Dallas Cowboys best move of the offseason may very well be hiring Kris Richard as their new passing game coordinator. Despite not signing any free agents or drafting added talent for Richard to work with in the secondary, the Cowboys have plenty of reasons to feel great about their current starters - along with an intriguing class of UDFAs.

The prospects of Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Byron Jones, and Xavier Woods working with Richard to sharpen their skills with Seattle's "Legion of Boom" fabricator is as good as it gets. In a very short period of time, the cornerback position has turned into one of the hardest spots for fringe players to make the Dallas Cowboys roster.

Don't tell this to San Diego State's Kameron Kelly. Neither Richard or Kelly may be household names around the NFL, but San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Richard Sherman certainly is. Sherman also happens to be the player the Cowboys are looking for Kelly -- an undrafted free agent that didn't receive a single college offer from "power five" schools -- to emulate.

Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary

Dallas Cowboys Passing Game Cooridinator Kris Richard with Richard Sherman

Given all that Sherman meant to Richard's defenses since being drafted by his Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, these feel like impossible expectations for Kelly to live up to.

The 6015 (6' 1 5/8") defender didn't even play the same position as Sherman until his final collegiate season, slowly making the transition from WR to DB at SDSU by starting as a Sophomore and Junior at safety.

Now just another player in a blue jersey with white numbers at The Star, Kelly is looking to earn the star on a team that may look to remain young, deep, and most importantly versatile in the secondary by keeping one or more UDFAs.

That is, if any of these long shot players deserve a spot on the final 53-man roster. Kelly already has an edge on this field, blessed with the length and daunting frame that allows Richard and the Cowboys to dream of featuring their own Richard Sherman.

"I think he’s trying to turn me into his next Richard Sherman or something". - Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Kameron Kelly

Kris Richard is going to coach everybody he comes across hard. He knows no other way. Kam Kelly is already embracing this, seeing the Cowboys vision for him and not backing down from the challenge.

Turn on the tape for this "diamond in the rough" prospect, and you'll see a player that carries this same competitive toughness onto the field.

Mike Mayock on Twitter

Will a DB compete / tackle ? Top of screen- flat footed read on bubble- trusts eyes and goes ! Just checking boxes- I see you, kameron Kelly of SDSU.... https://t.co/fJM4s16Eq1

Kelly joins Charvarius Ward, Donovan Olumba, and Tyree Robinson as the Cowboys class of UDFAs at both cornerback and safety. An athletic DB out of Oregon, Robinson has made a strong initial impression with several plays on the ball in drills so far.

However, it was Kam Kelly that set up an interception for Jameill Showers in yesterday's practice by getting in the face of rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup.

Projecting anything that resembles a starting lineup for the Cowboys defense in the last week of May is silly. So too is realistically expecting Kelly, Ward, Olumba, or Robinson to ever crack this lineup.

Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary 2

Dallas Cowboys CB Kameron Kelly

The Cowboys could find themselves without enough practice snaps to go around for starting caliber players like Awuzie, Lewis, Jones, Anthony Brown, and even Marquez White. This does not bode well for Kam Kelly, who is only going to continue generating buzz from fans and the Dallas media.

For now, Kelly is getting his chance though. The Cowboys are ever-so-slowly getting back into form for 2018 - doing so with many familiar faces no longer on the roster. This team is going to look different on both sides of the ball come September, and Cowboys Nation can only hope it's for the better given the impressive amount of depth all over the field.

Kam Kelly won't back down from the depth the Cowboys have at CB, expecting to impress his new coach Kris Richard in the mold of three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Dallas Cowboys

WR Terrell Owens Featured As A Cowboy On Madden 2019 Cover

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Blog - Getcha Popcorn Ready: Terrell Owens Is Greatest 81 In Dallas Cowboys History

It's been a tumultuous few years for former Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, to say the least. Based on his numbers Owens deserved to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but due to his off field "antics" and poor relationships with voters, Owens was kept out of the Hall of Fame until this year.

Now that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this Summer, Terrell Owens has earned another honor: cover athlete for EA Sports' upcoming Madden video game.

Madden has become a staple of football culture over the years, and being placed on the cover of their Hall of Fame edition is pretty special.

What came as a surprise, however, is that Terrell Owens is featured as a Dallas Cowboy on the cover of the game.

Bleacher Report on Twitter

@terrellowens will be on the cover of #Madden19 Hall of Fame edition

Terrell Owens played on a multitude of teams during his NFL career, spending 3 seasons with the Cowboys from 2006-2008. People tend to forget how great the Tony Romo-to-Terrell Owens connection was in Dallas, especially during their 13-3 2007 season.

That year, Owens caught 81 balls for 1,355 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also earned First Team All Pro honors during the same season.

This is the first time the Cowboys uniform has ever graced the cover of a Madden game, and the second time Terrell Owens will be on the cover of a professional football video game. The first time came as an Eagle on the cover of ESPN NFL 2K5, ironically just one year before Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was the cover athlete for Madden 2006.

Terrell Owens then announced the news himself on Twitter, by tweeting out the following video.

Terrell Owens on Twitter

It's that time! I've made my decision to return to football. Madden 19 HOF #stayready https://t.co/pLL4lTAhD2

Terrell Owens is arguably the greatest (talent wise) receiver to ever play for the Cowboys, though he lacked the longevity to match any of the stat totals of guys like Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant. It's a shame the 2007 season ended the way it did, and that 2008 was such an utter disaster.

Those Cowboys teams were really talented, hence why they won 11 games and another division crown after Owens' departure in 2009.


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Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott Is Taking Control Of The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Dallas Cowboys 2018 Preseason Schedule Released
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into 2018 there is no question that the Dallas Cowboys are Dak Prescott's team. While some of the Cowboys fan base is skeptical of just how good Prescott is/can be, the franchise had placed all of their eggs in the Prescott-basket over the last two offseasons.

They've begun to build the "Dak-friendly offense," attempting to recreate the circumstances which surrounded him during his highly successful rookie season. By drafting offensive lineman Connor Williams, wide receiver Michael Gallup, and signing wide out Allen Hurns the Cowboys have made a conscious effort to help their young quarterback in his development.

But what do his fellow teammates think about him? Well, thus far during OTAs, the respect they have for Dak Prescott as a quarterback and a leader is clear.

Members of Prescott's wide receiver corps have been incredibly vocal about the respect they have for Dak Prescott, including two of their newest additions. Hurns told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News that Dak "runs things" around the locker room, and that the Cowboys will have no problems with leadership as long as Dak is at the helm.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Allen Hurns: "When I first got here, what surprised me a lot was Dak's leadership. He's only in his third year, but he's a very vocal guy. He runs things. I was very surprised by that. ... I don't think we'll have a problem with leadership.

Tavon Austin chimed in as well, telling Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News that while he expected Prescott to have "some juice" to him, meeting him in person allowed him to realize that his leadership is on a different level than even he expected.

Brandon George on Twitter

I asked Cowboys WR Tavon Austin on his impressions of Dak Prescott before his arrival in Dallas: "I always knew he had some juice to him, some swag to him and when I finally get here and meet him it's definitely a whole different ballgame because it was to even another level.

It's not only members of the offense which are showing their respect for Dak Prescott's leadership, however. Team sack leader DeMarcus Lawrence is noticing as well. This week Lawrence said that Dak is clearly taking control of the offense, and you can see it "every day in how he works."

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence: "Dak is taking a lot of control over that offense. He's trying to take his game to the next level and be one of the elite quarterbacks in this league. You can see it every day in how he works.

There is an argument that can be made that the release of Dez Bryant and retirement of Jason Witten have allowed Dak Prescott to take that control. The veterans on offense from the Tony Romo-era have begun to disappear, and Prescott is now making the Dallas Cowboys "his team."

Of course, Prescott still has to do it on the field. While much of his first two seasons have been impressive, the final few weeks of 2017 featured some shaky play from Dak Prescott. But, the moves which were made this offseason combined with the full time return of running back Ezekiel Elliott should allow Prescott to take another step forward in 2018.

And if the Cowboys plan on being competitive as a team, they'll need Prescott to make those strides.


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