Dallas Cowboys left guard Connor Williams has done the rookie right of passage throughout training camp and the preseason.
He carried helmets and shoulders pads and provided food for the veterans.
But this neophyte from Texas, picked in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, didn’t get truly hazed until last Sunday’s 16-8 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
He gave up two sacks and got little movement in the run game going against mammoth defensive tackle Kawann Short.
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It wasn’t pretty.
”I didn’t do the best I wanted,” Williams said. “Definitely learning from it, watching film, analyzing and getting better from what I can.”
Said coach Jason Garrett: “There’s some areas in pass protection that wasn’t good enough, and we’ll continue to work with him on that.”
Ironically, Williams, who played tackle in college, was projected as a guard in the NFL because he has short arms. Now, he his partially struggling in the NFL because he is not big enough or strong enough inside.
Williams, generously listed at 310 pounds after joining the Cowboys at 296, said it’s an adjustment from the smaller ends he dealt with in college.
“Moving from tackle to guard and then playing a 200-pounder to a 350 pounder, it’s definitely an adjustment,” Williams said. “I never faced somebody that big. It’s a different way of blocking somebody. But it’s something I can definitely learn and get better at.”
It doesn’t get easier this week with the New York Giants and nose tackle Damon Harrison (341 pounds) coming to town on Sunday.
Williams says he will have to focus on his technique and rely on that until he gets bigger and stronger.
“Strength comes with time,” Williams said. “It’s not like I’m going to get super strength overnight, so it’s all about technique right now and learning from my flaws.”
Clarence E. Hill Jr. :@clarencehilljr