With a team full of pass rushers, Sam Williams, the second-round pick for the Cowboys, has been making the most of his limited snaps this season.
The rookie had his best game of the season against Detroit. He recorded two sacks, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.
Williams was inactive against the Bears in week eight due to a knee injury. In his return this week, he played 17 snaps against the Packers and again made an impact. We see him make a big play every week he plays.
Williams sacked Aaron Rodgers on a 3rd and five, bringing his season total to three.
Williams continues to shine when he gets time on the field. I want to avoid seeing Dallas burn him out, but I want to see him play more than 17 snaps.
They need help stopping the run. Williams has looked decent in the times he has had to defend it. A Rotation with Dante Fowler would work, and I hate to say it, but even start cutting into the snaps of Dorance Armstrong.
Lawrence has been great this year, but you can't tell me that Williams can't set the edge any worse than Armstrong and Fowler.
This team is getting beat up repeatedly on runs to the perimeter. So what is there to lose? Increase his snap count and split it between Fowler and Armstrong. It can't hurt to try.
Numbers Don't Lie
Before kickoff against the Packers Sunday, Williams was PPF's highest-graded edge rusher since week four (92.1). He's only played 85 snaps since Week 4, but he's been terrific!
This number likely changed depending on how PPF graded his performance against Green Bay, but Williams is no stranger to having a productive pass-rush grade. His 90.2 was second among SEC edge rushers last season at Ole Miss.
Williams has played eight games this season. He has one pass defended, two fumble recovers, 11 tackles (10 solo), three sacks, and five quarterback hits.
His highest amount of snaps played came in week five against the Rams. He played 38% of snaps, logging 25.
I see the pushback some could have if the team forced him into 25-30 snaps week in and week out. He might get worn out quicker, but his explosiveness and motor are too good right now to sit on the sideline.
The upside of Williams is worth trying to slide him in a rotation or in place of someone who isn't producing enough to stop the run.
The next stretch of games would be a good time to unleash him. Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley, Jonathan Taylor, and Dameon Pierce are on the way. You already know the offensive game plan for these teams will run, run and run some more.
I am not a coach, and maybe what I am saying doesn't even make sense, but Williams is making a big impact every time he steps on the field, and the numbers don't lie.
If the Cowboys want to win multiple games come January, they will have to stop the run.