It was reported earlier this week that Connor McGovern was taking some first-team reps at left guard in place of Connor Williams. This led to a lot of speculation about whether a switch was about to be made. According to Jerry Jones via 105.3 The Fan, that is happening. Connor McGovern will start on Sunday versus the Chiefs.
McGovern has been used in a variety of ways in the past few weeks. He’s been an extra lineman, a fullback, and part of a “Hulk” package with both he and La’el Collins lining up in the backfield. Now, he is going to make his way into the starting lineup.
One of the reasons for this seems to be the penalties that have piled up for Connor Williams this year.
The NFL leader in penalties last season was Jedrick Wills with 11. Connor Williams is one short of that with 8 games to play.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) November 15, 2021
Cowboys LG Connor Williams was flagged three times Sunday, pushing his penalty count to an NFL-high 13 on season (10 accepted). Mike McCarthy: “Connor clearly understands the way he performed. We have a very competitive offensive line room, so we’ll see what the future brings.”— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 15, 2021
That statement from McCarthy was another indication that this was a possibility. Williams was the Cowboys workhorse on the offensive line last year when injuries plagued every other position. But this year, he has returned to being the weak link on the offensive line and now the Cowboys are looking to get their best five offensive linemen on the field, and they believe McGovern makes that happen.
“He’s had, frankly, a great fall and he has really impressed and he’s certainly impressed his teammates and coaches, and this is a great opportunity for him,” Jones said.
It was reported back around training camp time into the early season that teams around the NFL had inquired about trading for McGovern but were rebuffed by the Cowboys. The organization clearly had plans for him, and now they are coming to fruition. With Connor Williams in a contract year, this could also set up their future at left guard beyond 2021.