After a game in which the Dallas Cowboys’ defense was uncharacteristically out of position, they recovered nicely against the Detroit Lions. Regarded as one of the league’s top offenses, the were rendered ineffective thanks to a Cowboys defense that sacked quarterback Jared Goff five times and forced five turnovers.
Holding the Lions to a total of six points, and only one red zone trip that was unsuccessful, was a true team effort. However, it was a new face that emerged to make timely plays and throw the Lions offense off track. The Cowboys had a heavy rotation on the defensive line, and it created an opportunity for rookie pass rusher Sam Williams who took down the Lions offense and this week’s game ball.
A star is born?
When the Cowboys drafted Sam Williams in the second round of the draft, many were excited about the potential of Williams in the Dallas defensive line rotation. So far, thanks to the depth of the Cowboys defense, playing time for Williams has been hard to come by. On Sunday, Williams made sure to take advantage of the chances he got.
If you were listening to the CBS broadcast during the game, the broadcast team was effusive in their praise of Sam Williams. Commentator Jim Nance cited Williams as a player on the cusp of breaking out and touted him as “a rising star” for the Dallas defense. Wouldn’t go that far just yet, but there was no denying his impact on the game.
Right time and right place
Williams recorded two sacks against the Detroit Lions and both changed the complexion of the game in the Cowboys favor. Over the last few weeks, the Cowboys plan to success has been playing with a lead and not having to be a one-dimensional offense. That’s why Williams’ first sack was so important. With the Lions trailing 10-6 and nearing midfield, Lions quarterback Jared Goff dropped back to pass. Williams, rushing from the edge, easily beat Dan Skipper with a club-swim move and sacked Goff. Two plays later, Detroit would be forced to punt while Dallas maintained their lead.
His second sack was the exclamation point on another dominant performance by the defense. After having secured a two-score lead, the Cowboys were trying to get the Lions, now in a hurry-up offense, off the field once more. This time, lined up over offensive tackle Penei Sewell, Williams got around the corner and forced a fumble on Jared Goff that he recovered and almost carried into the end zone for a touchdown.
Williams made light of the snaps he logged in the win while posting an impressive stat line. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has a lot of tools at his disposal with the Cowboys’ defense. They are one of the deepest units in the NFL and getting this type of production from a situational player makes the defense all the more formidable. If Williams can deliver on the potential Nantz believes he’s capable of, watch out.