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OL Connor Williams Proves Durable, Serviceable At Left Guard

2020 was a disastrous year for the .

Before any games were even played, All Pro decided to retire from the game. He had a successful career to be proud of, and luckily got out of the game with his health intact, but there's no question it set the 2020 version of the Cowboys back a bit.

Then, quickly, the Cowboys lost both starting tackles for the year in and La'el Collins. To top it all off, All Pro was also lost for the season due to .

Like I said, disastrous.

The lone bright spot across the group was the one guy who has caught incredible amounts of criticism from the fanbase during his first few years in the league. started every game of the , missing just one snap the entire year. He did this despite being banged up at different times, and while being the only starter remaining most weeks.

Williams, who has notably struggled against bigger defensive tackles due to his slighter frame, has clearly bulked up since entering the league. I've also noticed him anchor a bit better with his lower half this season, and resist the urge to lunge at pass rushers, allowing himself to stay square rather than getting his head over his toes.

Below is a good example of where he's improved.

As the great John Owning points out, Williams gets smacked across the head here, and actually does let himself get a bit out in-front and off balance. However, instead of getting swum over and embarrassed like he did at times his rookie season, Williams gathers himself, keeps his shoulders square, takes a quick kick-step, and re-engages the defender.

The result is an excellent pass protection rep, rather than quick interior pressure in the face of .

Connor Williams is far from perfect. He still does get overpowered at times, and certainly sticks out in comparison to the guard who's usually on the other side of him. But if Connor Williams is your fourth or fifth best offensive lineman, you got a heck of a unit upfront.

There was a lot of chatter that Williams may lose his job prior to the season, but I think his 2020 performance earned him that left guard spot again in 2021.

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady
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 have been with ITS since 2016.

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