Sam Williams Making Huge Strides In Rookie Season

October 11, 2022
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The Dallas Cowboys believed the rich got richer on the defensive side of the ball when they drafted Sam Williams in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Many fans saw the potential come on national television in Sunday’s win against the Los Angeles Rams with his best game of the young season.

Sam Williams was a beast at Ole Miss where he broke the school record for sacks in a season with 12.5 last season. He finished his college career with 134 tackles, 22.5 sacks, and 32.5 tackles for loss in his three years with the Rebels. With his stellar play on the field competing in the SEC, many people knew that he would have the potential to be great.

Prior to the NFL draft, he showed off his athleticism and speed by running a 4.46 40-yard dash. This was a player who many saw as being able to play both linebacker and defensive end but needed time to adjust to the hybrid position on the next level. The Cowboys saw that potential by drafting him 56th overall in the NFL Draft in the hopes he would turn out to be just like Micah Parsons.

Sam Williams got off to a strong start in preseason recording seven tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack in three games played. While it was an impressive start, it is just preseason as game speed in the regular season is different. Dallas would initially ease him into the flow of games as he didn’t get many snaps in the first four games of the season. Sunday’s game against the Rams would be his coming out party where Cowboys fans would see what they could be in for.

Sam Williams’ Breakout Performance Against The Rams

Fans noticed that Sam Williams played more snaps this game than any other game this season and he made the most of his career-high 25 snaps. Williams recorded one tackle, one tackle for loss, one quarterback pressure, one pass breakup, and one fumble recovery that sealed their 22-10 victory in Los Angeles. Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy spoke about Williams’ performance saying that he made a “huge jump” in the game.

Those are strong words from the head coach speaking about one of his rookies who hasn’t had as many reps as other players on the team. The words spoken by coach McCarthy have some truth to them though as there is evidence to back them up.

A great example is the first play of the second quarter where Williams went right through tight end Tyler Higbee to take the running back down. That play showed his speed off the line and his ability to square up on the back to make sure he didn’t get past him.

His performance on Sunday and with Parsons not being 100 percent healthy could mean more snaps are coming for Sam Williams for the Philadelphia Eagles game and beyond. This has a lot to do with how there is more trust from defensive coordinator Dan Quinn that Williams can get the job done. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean that he is going to be a starter who gets 60-70 snaps a game but more should be on the horizon for Williams.

The hope for Sam Williams is that he will be able to play at the same level as Parsons as both players are similar in playing a hybrid of defensive end and linebacker. Williams is not as advanced as Parsons is skill-wise, but the potential is there for him. In two to three years from now, Williams will be a guy Dallas looks at to be one of their top pass rushers.