One of the most exciting parts about a season is watching players take on larger roles and thrive. This past season, we saw defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence return to his dominant form and the emergence of safety Donovan Wilson.
Even though the 2020 season was very disappointing, that doesn’t mean we can’t take some positives out of it. The Dallas Cowboys should be healthier in 2021, but they will still need some players to take a step up. Here are three players that must do that.
Connor Williams, LG
The Dallas Cowboys suffered numerous injuries along their offensive line. The offense suffered severely due to that. One of the only starters remaining was left guard Connor Williams.
You have to feel for the young lineman. He had to put up with everything collapsing around him. He was always considered the weakest link, and that showed once his Pro Bowl teammates were injured.
Early in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams, he showed some promise while lining up against a two-time defensive player of the year, Aaron Donald. That was until the defensive lineman decided he was going to run through everyone.
While the guard finished the game poorly, he flashed potential early on. He remained an efficient run blocker but could not protect the quarterback.
With the spotlight finally, on him alone, he did not perform. It is never easy to play well with rookies surrounding you. Multiple linemates never played one snap in the NFL.
Due to the talent around him, no one expected Williams to be anything more than an average guard. With questions surrounding the health of left tackle Tyron Smith, Williams may have to be more than an average lineman.
If he does not develop in protecting the quarterback, the Cowboys will struggle. You can’t expect center Tyler Biadasz to make up for Williams’ mistakes in the former Wisconsin Badger’s sophomore season.
We have seen Williams’ power when he paves the way for running back Ezekiel Elliott. Now, the former Texas Longhorn needs to focus on his technique. He has been caught off balance and reaching far too often.
If he takes a step up this season, then the Dallas Cowboys will have a top offensive line in the NFL once again. If he doesn’t, then maybe owner Jerry Jones should look for a replacement once his contract expires next season.