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Guard or Tackle: Where Should Cowboys Play Connor Williams?

Brian Martin

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Guard or Tackle: Where Should Cowboys Play Connor Williams?

Despite already having one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys were fortunate enough to have former University of Texas Longhorn offensive lineman Connor Williams fall right in their lap in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. His addition to an already impressive OL unit should make them even more dominant.

Deciding to take Connor Williams with their second-round draft pick was a no-brainer for the Dallas Cowboys. Williams was considered by many as a surefire first-round draft pick, but due to inconsistent game film his last two seasons at UT, he saw his draft stock fall. But, you won't hear any complaining from him or the Cowboys.

Connor Williams knows he couldn't landed in a better place than the Dallas Cowboys. It would be any offensive lineman's dream to be surrounded by as much talent as the Cowboys have on their OL. I know if I was him, I would be impatiently waiting the opportunity to put on pads and get to work.

There shouldn't be any questions as to who the starting five offensive lineman will be for the Dallas Cowboys when the 2018 season gets underway. The only question that may still be unanswered is where everyone will eventually lineup when the season starts?

Everyone is expecting Connor Williams to step into the vacant left guard position between Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith. He was after all announced as a guard when the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the second round, so it seems plausible. But, I'm not so sure that's his best position.

Connor Williams

Dallas Cowboys OL Connor Williams

The Dallas Cowboys would love to just insert Williams at LG and hit the ground running, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did a little reshuffling to find the best starting five. Fortunately, I think this only involves two players… Connor Williams and La'el Collins.

Connor Williams and La'el Collins are very similar players when you take into account their versatility to play different positions and their measurable's. The only real difference is that Collins (320) has about 20 pounds on Williams (300) right now.

That doesn't really sound like a big deal. But, based on the eye test alone, Collins looks much more like an offensive guard right now than Williams does. I may be reading a little bit too much into it, but it's not out of the realm of possibility the coaching staff takes a good long look at both players to determine where they fit best.

Luckily, they have the rest of the off-season to figure this out. But, it would be better to make a decision sooner rather than later. It would be in everyone's best interest for the offensive line to start building their relationship with one another and building on that continuity.

Whatever decision the Dallas Cowboys come to, you can bet that they believe they have put the best starting five on the field possible. And, I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see them opening up running lanes for Ezekiel Elliott this season.

Where do you think the Dallas Cowboys should play Connor Williams?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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3 Comments
  • oneputter

    great pick by us in the second, if not for his injury he would have been a first rounder.

    definitely needs to start out at guard but should also get some work at tackle during OTA’s and TC.

    the guy can move, we need that pulling guard that can maul at the point of attack and at the second level.

  • Russ_Te

    Williams also recovered from a knee injury during his senior year, which made me surprised he did not fall further. He might turn into a starting RT but I’m skeptical it will ever be pro-bowl LT. Then with the so-called short arms, and the fact that his frame can add weight and retain the agility he has – I think OG is the best first try.

    Plus I don’t want to mess with Collins at RT. It was pretty good last year and has more upside to it.

    We might know something by the weight that Williams comes into camp with. If the Cowboys are thinking LG, then they are probably asking him to add bulk right now.

    I’m thinking LVE and Gallup are strikes, so if we get a starter out of Williams it can turn into a strong draft.

  • Mr. Jaguar

    Imho, Williams will be a fixture @ LG, for the next decade. Williams, will also help to keeping T. Smith, healthy as well. With the LG position stabilized, T. Smith back issues, shouldn’t be a problem. T. Smith had to over extended himself last season, C. Green was @ LG,to compensate for Green’s limited skills @ LG. Earlier in the 2016 season, T. Smith had to over extended himself until LG Leary settled into the position. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment, that getting Williams acclimated early @ LG, will benefit T. Smith, in getting the Cowboys offensive line jelling into a cohesive unit.

Star Blog

The Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle is Heating Up

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle Heating Up 1

Earning a spot on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster is going to be a lot tougher in 2018 then it has been in years past. There is no shortage of position battles taking place right now to earn one of those coveted openings, but it's the battle taking place at receiver that's gaining steam and starting to heat up.

The ultimate unknown right now is how many wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys choose to carry on their 53-man roster this season. Last year they decided to carry six, but they have been known to carry just five. Unfortunately, this means they will have to release some talented players and risk losing them to another team.

As things stand right now there may just be one, possibly two, roster spots up for grabs. I think the only thing we know for sure right now is Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin are the only WRs who can feel secure their jobs are safe for 2018. Everybody else is playing a game of Survivor, just hoping their name isn't the one written down and their torch isn't snuffed out.

Terrance Williams' flame may be safe due to his current contract. The Dallas Cowboys can't save anything by releasing him, but it doesn't cost them that much either. It's unlikely he has a future with the team, so if someone were to prove themselves more worthy, his flame could be extinguished.

Terrance Williams

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Last season I thought Noah Brown was ready to unseat Williams, but that never really materialized. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't really shown up as much as I thought he would this offseason, and missing the game against the San Francisco 49ers last week didn't do him any favors either. This doesn't bode well for him moving forward.

Deonte Thompson was signed as a free agent to provide some veteran experience and speed to the passing game, but that in no way means his job is secure. He needs to do something to show up a little more because his age and salary means a younger up-and-coming WR could make him expendable.

Second-year WR Lance Lenoir Jr. might just be the receiver who has stirred things up the most. He has not only created a buzz for himself in offseason practices, but he was able to carry it over into the preseason last week against the 49ers. His arrow trajectory is definitely pointing upwards.

I'd definitely hate to be the one to decide who stays and who goes when final cuts are made. It's not going to be an easy decision to make, because the outcome will definitely have an impact on the team's success this year.

All of these players were brought into help Quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game reach new heights, so making the wrong move could be detrimental. The number of wide receivers and who the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep might be the most important decision they make before the season starts.

How would you predict the Dallas Cowboys WR position battle turning out?



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Star Blog

Any Concern About Dan Bailey Not Playing Against 49ers?

Brian Martin

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Decision not to Play Dan Bailey against the 49ers a Concern? 1

With all the excitement of the Dallas Cowboys finally playing in a game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it may have escaped your attention that Dan Bailey remained on the sideline the entire time. He didn't attempt one field goal or kick off once last Thursday, which in my opinion is a little concerning.

Dan Bailey joined Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee on the sideline as a healthy scratch last week. The decision to sit both Zeke and Sean Lee makes sense due to the physical demands of their positions, but sitting Bailey was a bit of a head scratcher. After all, it's not like he plays a physically demanding position like the other two.

I know. I know. Dan Bailey is an integral part for the Cowboys success moving forward. I'm not arguing that he's not, but after sitting out the majority of the 2017 season with a groin injury and lingering concerns about his health this year, not playing him at all against the 49ers is a bit confusing.

I don't believe there is any kind of kicking competition between Dan Bailey and Brett Maher, who handled all of the kicking duties against the 49ers last Thursday. Bailey will be the Cowboys kicker when the 2018 season gets underway in just a few short weeks. But, the question remains… Why didn't he receive any playing time?

Dan Bailey

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey was never quite the same last season once he returned from his injury. Something was off and I don't know if it was more mental or physical, maybe a little of both. He just wasn't splitting the uprights like his normal self.

Unfortunately, we have seen this kind of thing happen in the past with one of the Cowboys kickers. Nick Folk went through a similar situation with an injury and never really bounced back. I'm just hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys know more about what's going on with Dan Bailey than I do. But, you would think they'd have allowed him to attempt a field goal or at least an extra point in a game situation to build up his confidence once again. It's what I would have done.

Hopefully I'm just being a little paranoid and I'm reading more into this than there actually is. But, the fact I haven't heard any reasoning as to why Dan Bailey was held out last week is sitting a little uneasy with me. I'm just hoping it was precautionary in order to keep him as healthy as possible for the upcoming season.

Should we be concerned Dan Bailey was a healthy scratch last week?



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Star Blog

Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook

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Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook

Let me start this article with a strong opening statement: The Cowboys will be better in 2018 than they were in 2017. There's been a lot of talk about the lack of a true No. 1 receiver. But when we break it down, the current setup will most likely play out better for Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

The Dak Stats

Certain quarterbacks shine when they have that go-to playmaker. We're talking about guys like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Calvin Johnson, Ocho Cinco, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, and Dez Bryant. But other QBs do better at reading the defense and quickly adapting to what is given. Dak Prescott is the latter breed of QB.

Let’s do a quick numbers exercise to prove this.

When Prescott is targeting 8 or more receivers throughout the game, his passer rating jumps from 86.1 (targeting less than 8) to 104.5. He passes for almost 50 yards more per game and his touchdown to interception ratio drastically improves from 21-13 to 24-4.

Most importantly, when he targets at least 8 different receivers, the Cowboys are 14-2. When he targets less than 8, the team is just .500 at 8-8.

Without a doubt, Prescott is much better at adjusting to what the defense is giving him. He just isn’t one of those guys who can successfully "force" the ball (like Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees). Not feeling the pressure of having to get the ball into the hands of the star playmaker will give this offense a new kind of depth in 2018.

Yes, losing Jason Witten hurts, much more so in my opinion than not having Dez.

Questions Still Loom

This is still the Cowboys' biggest concern on offense. There is some great depth. We have Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin, Geoff Swaim, and the young stud out of Stanford, Dalton Schultz. But between the three who have any NFL experience, there are only 9 catches between them. I must say that Dalton, with his 4.75 40-yard dash, has a legitimate shot at seeing a lot of playing time in his rookie campaign and could become an impact player with his size (6’5”, 244-lbs) and speed.

But despite the battle for TE being wide open, and debates about whether or not the team needs a No. 1 receiver, the Cowboys are still expected to give the Eagles a run for their money in the NFC East. Here are the odds on the defending NFC East champions and how (although early) it is expected to shake out:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles -167
  2. Dallas Cowboys +350
  3. New York Giants +650
  4. Washington Redskins +750

NFC East Week 1 Predictions

The Cowboys open the season in a difficult road game against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been listed as 2.5-point favorites (follow the Cowboys NFL Odds here all season long) which isn’t surprising considering they are a tough team playing at home. You might be thinking, "crap, we're opening up as underdogs?" Don’t worry too much; it actually bodes fairly well because the lines-makers generally give a 3-point advantage to the home team. This means that they actually handicap the Cowboys to be a half-point favorite on a neutral field and a 3.5-point favorite in Arlington.

The Redskins open their season in Arizona against the Cardinals. The line is set at a pick ‘em (meaning there is no point spread; it's anyone's game). But, looking at the 'Skins and Cardinals, I think Washington gets disappointed in Week 1 and starts their season with a loss.

The Giants get to test their new offensive line and see if they were right in continuing to place their faith in Eli Manning against the best defense in the league. The Jags are 3-point favorites at MetLife stadium. This means the Jags are actually 6-points better. I do think that the Giants will be vastly improved this season, but they are also going to open with a loss.

The Eagles don’t have it easy either, but they will probably pull out the win at home as 4-point favorites against the Dirty Birds on Thursday Night Football. Their defense is just too good. Atlanta's road offense scored just 21 points per game last year while Philly scores 28 on average at home. The Eagles' home defense has been downright nasty, only allowing 12 points per game in Philadelphia.

This will be a two-horse race for the division between the Eagles and Cowboys. And even if the Eagles win the East, the Cowboys will wildcard into the playoffs.



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