For his first two seasons in the NFL, Guard Connor Williams dealt with being the perceived weakest link on the Dallas Cowboys' vaunted offensive line. But after a strong 2020 performance amidst general chaos around him, Williams may now be one of the most underrated players on the roster.
Even this offseason, many fans have expressed desire to improve at left guard and prepare for Williams' assumed exit in 2022 free agency. But according to Pro Football Focus, Connor is entering 2021 as the 21st-best guard in the NFL.
That isn't just left guards, folks. That's ALL guards, left or right, throughout the entire league. With Zack Martin coming in as #2 on the list, that means Dallas has two of the top-21 guards in football by PFF's standards.
No, Williams hasn't yet reached the elite tier at his position the way Martin, Tyron Smith, La'el Collins, or Travis Frederick have in the past. But he's a lot closer now than many Cowboys fans realize.
According to PFF's Sam Monson:
“For some time, seemingly every draft pick Dallas spent on the offensive line turned into an All-Pro starter. While Connor Williams hasn’t done that, he has developed into a good player, particularly as the line has deteriorated around him.”
Being 21st out of 64 starting guards throughout the NFL is definitely “good.” It also means that Williams has now left 2nd-year Center Tyler Biadasz as the biggest question mark among the Cowboys starting offensive linemen.
If Martin, Collins, and Smith return healthy in 2021 then Williams' profile around the league could rise significantly. Offensive line play is a group effort and issues and often bring down the grades for the players left standing.
Connor's hype will especially increase if the Cowboys get back to winning hopefully the playoffs. If Williams keeps trending upward in his fourth season, the question may become whether or not the Dallas can afford to keep him in 2022 free agency.
However this season plays out, Connor Williams is going into it stronger than ever. He's emerged a true asset for the Cowboys and could have his best season yet in 2021.