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Cowboys Top 10 Biggest Draft Successes Of The Jerry Jones Era: #6

Our continuing series looking at the Top 10 Biggest Draft Successes Of The Jerry Jones Era rolls on with #6. The guidelines - Must have been drafted during Jerry Jones' era (1989 - present), and generally needs to be a player chosen in the 3rd round or later. Anybody above that was expected to succeed. It's not a list of the best players, but a list of the best value to the team, based on contributions and when they were drafted. Also, certain intangibles can be thrown into the mix.

Now we're starting to head into some bigger names. These guys were either an incredible value for when they were picked, or just turned out to be superstars even though they came from the 3rd or 4th round.

6. Erik Williams (1991, 3rd round, #70, T, Central State)

Erik Williams - The Big E. He was a stud along the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys through their Super Bowl run in the 90s, and in the transition to the dark times that followed. To make our list as a 3rd round draftee, you need to be special, and Williams was just that. He was thrust into the permanent starting position at right tackle in his second season and over his career he ended up in four Pro Bowls ('93, '96, '97, '99). He was a physical presence on the line, both in protecting Troy Aikman, and blocking for Emmitt Smith.

Williams' physical play was often called dirty by other players around the league and he often ended up on Dirty Player lists. Erik would do anything to prevent the defensive guy from making a play. Williams was famed for the head slap. Williams was so good and proficient with the head slap that the NFL outlawed it. Because of that he joins the Cowboys player fraternity that had had rules implemented based on something they did.

The thing about Erik Williams is that he could have been even better than he was. An automobile accident in 1994 was a serious affair causing multiple severe injuries. It took him a while to recover, and he was never as great as he was in the period before it happened. If not for the accident, Williams might have gone down as one of the best ever. He had that potential. As it was, he was still mighty good, and an excellent value for a 3rd round pick.

Miscellaneous stats: During the '92 season he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after crushing Reggie White in a mid-season game. Started in 13 playoff games

rabblerousr: The best offensive lineman in the league for a two year stretch, for a third round price. Nice.


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