With Connor Williams officially departing in free agency to join the Miami Dolphins, and only Connor McGovern currently on the roster, the Dallas Cowboys biggest need right now is arguably filling the void at left guard. The upcoming 2022 NFL Draft may provide the solution, however, there are a few free agent options that could provide the answer as well.
Today, we are going to take a look at a handful of free agents still available on the open market who the Cowboys could potentially target to replace Connor Williams. While the pickings aren’t great, there are a few options who makes sense if the Cowboys want add a potential starter to the roster prior to the 2022 NFL Draft.
Will Hernandez was drafted by the New York Giants in the second-round (34th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft. In his four years with the Giants he’s started 56 out of a possible 62 games at mostly left guard, but also played on the right side in 2021. The six games he missed in 2020 were due to COVID, otherwise he would’ve started every game in his career.
Hernandez is someone the Cowboys were pretty high on during the pre-draft process in 2018. In fact, he was one of their allotted 30 pre-draft visitors. While it’s true he hasn’t really lived up to his draft status so far in the NFL, his proven availability and experience should make the Cowboys at least consider him as a possible Connor Williams replacement.
Ereck Flowers is someone who should be pretty familiar with the NFC East by now considering he’s played for half the teams in the division. He was the New York Giants first-round pick (9th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft, but has also had two different stints in Washington as well. He has 101 career starts under his belt so far with four different teams.
Flowers is an intriguing free agent target for the Cowboys not only because of his familiarity with the NFC East division, but also because of his versatility. While the Cowboys would be signing him to play left guard, he does have the ability to kick outside to tackle as well. The Cowboys value position flex, possibly putting him atop their free agent list.
Billy Price was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first-round (21st overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. He started at both guard and center for them before being traded to the New York Giants in exchange for defensive tackle B.J. Hill in 2021. In his four-year career with both the Bengals and Giants, he started 34 of the 58 games he’s played in.
The ability to play, and potentially start, at either center or guard makes Billy Price an intriguing free agent target for the Dallas Cowboys. Not only does his position flex make him a potential Connor Williams replacement, but he could challenge Tyler Biadasz for the starting job. If worse comes to worse, he’d be a valuable backup at both positions.
Trai Turner was selected in the third-round (92nd overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. From 2015-2019 he was a five-time Pro Bowl player and has started 106 out of 110 possible games in his eight-year career with three different teams. His Pro Bowl appearances may be behind him, but he’s just 28 years old and still has a lot left in the tank.
Had the Cowboys not traded the 78th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to trade up for DeMarcus Lawrence, Trai Turner would’ve been their selection in the third-round according to Stephen Jones. Maybe things will finally come full circle now that they need someone to replace Connor Williams. His experience and accolades make him an intriguing option.
Billy Turner is another versatile free agent offensive lineman who has experience playing both guard and tackle in his nine-year career in the NFL. The former third-round pick (67th overall) by the Miami Dolphins in the 2014 NFL Draft turns 31 years old October 17, but has a lot left in the tank considering he has only started 68 games in his career so far.
For the Cowboys, Billy Turner would probably fall into that “bargain bin” category in free agency. It’s only over the past few seasons he’s been utilized as a full-time starter with the Green Bay Packers at both right guard and tackle. Considering the Cowboys love of position flex, he is an intriguing free agent target they could consider signing.