The Dallas Cowboys are halfway through the preseason and we have learned a lot about this team so far. For instance, it is more evident than ever that Micah Parsons is going to be a playmaker for the defense. Those who were opposed to the pick when it was made a few months ago are happy to have been proven wrong in this regard. Sometimes things take time and ultimately work out the way that the organization plans for them to.
Such hasn’t been the case for a different sort of experiment that the Cowboys are running in 2021. As the days of training camp have worn on the Cowboys have endeavored to give Connor Williams experience at playing center in case of an emergency, meaning if starter Tyler Biadasz were unavailable to play the position.
Friday night saw the Cowboys give Williams the first set of opportunities at the position and things did not exactly go well. It is possible that they prioritized Williams at center over Biadasz in the interest of getting him some time with the first flight, but wherever the snaps are coming, it is becoming obvious that this plan should not be for long.
The Dallas Cowboys need to commit Connor Williams to one position
Getting the best five offensive linemen on the field is a very fair and proper goal. Nobody has any qualms with it. But you have to know when to fold ‘em, and the time has come for Connor Williams at center.
Williams got first dibs on handling the duties on Friday night and was not only uninspiring, he was downright bad. It sort of seems unfair to place any of the blame on Williams in this situation. He is new to the position and is being asked to do it at an NFL level. That isn’t easy.
The Connor Williams At Center experiment needs to end— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 14, 2021
(via @dallascowboys) pic.twitter.com/wWGZIHP34l
The Cowboys have two players as options at center who have extensive experience there in Connor McGovern and Tyler Biadasz, the latter of whom actually played center for them last season.
Reports have been that Dallas is going down this path purely as one of insurance so that Williams is ready if/when he is called upon in a Biadasz-less world, but based off of what we have seen there would be no logical reason to even have him be the backup center at this point. It is borderline irresponsible to the rest of the offense.
Obviously not being able to successfully snap the ball is a issue of massive concern, but consider that PFF has Tyler Biadasz graded higher than Connor Williams during the preseason in overall offensive grades and at both run and pass blocking from the position.
Connor Williams is also entering a contract year
At this point it is hard to justify why Williams is seeing any time at all let alone the first opportunities at center, but it is also worth mentioning that this is a contract year for him. While it is unfair to Williams to ask him to play such an important year of his professional life at a position that he is just now learning, ultimately most people are going to want to see what is best for the team regardless of a player’s contractual situation. That’s fine.
But the Cowboys themselves could be the team that winds up signing Connor Williams in 2022 to be their left guard of the future. If that is at all in play, then why are they experimenting like this? Wouldn’t they want to offer him every possible opportunity to prove his worth at the position that he has been playing for three years now?
The sample size in question here is only two preseason games so we have to keep that context at all times. However, right now it feels as if it would be wise for Dallas to accept defeat with this particular experiment and move on elsewhere. Consider that the team has remained confident that Dak Prescott could play next week against the Houston Texans. Would they really want snaps on the ground that he would have to pounce on coming off of multiple injuries in the way that Garrett Gilbert had to in Arizona?
While Connor Williams at center was not the most impressive thing to happen against the Cardinals there were a lot of things worth taking a look at. Check out all of the highlights and moments of note in the latest video on the Blogging The Boys YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss anything that we are doing over there.
Click here to watch the highlights from Friday night’s game.