Dallas Cowboys

Why Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says guard Connor Williams might cross train at tackle

After free agency and 2019 NFL Draft, owner Jerry Jones said there is no tangible reason the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t be better and take next step in 2019

After free agency and 2019 NFL Draft, owner Jerry Jones said there is no tangible reason the Dallas Cowboys shouldn't be better and take next step in 2019
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After free agency and 2019 NFL Draft, owner Jerry Jones said there is no tangible reason the Dallas Cowboys shouldn't be better and take next step in 2019

Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Connor Williams has gained 10 pounds of muscle since the end of last season so he can compete for the starting left guard spot that he lost as a rookie, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus,

And if pictures from a recent fishing trip with the rest of the offensive line, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott can be believed, he certainly looks bigger and stronger.

It was necessary because Williams, who played tackle in college at Texas, struggled mightily with power rushers last season.

The Cowboys thought so highly of Williams that they inserted him in the starting lineup at left guard right after the draft. But he wasn’t big or strong enough to handle the job and the team ultimately replaced him nine games into by Xavier Sua-Filo.

But after working all off-season in hopes of getting his old job back, Williams might have the added challenge of learning to play tackle as well.

Owner Jerry Jones acknowledged it’s a possibility because it gives them more flexibility up front for now and the future.

“I wouldn’t rule anything out that improves position flex in the offensive line,” Jones said. “You continue to strive for flexibility. When you have this many offensive linemen that do have position flex I think you will see us working that.”

The ability to take advantage of Williams’ flexibility was crystallized in the 2019 NFL Draft with the selection of Penn State’s Connor McGovern in the third round.

McGovern can play guard and center. His ability to possibly fill in at left guard allows the Cowboys to cross-train Williams with an eye toward next season when right tackle La’el Collins becomes a free agent. It’s unlikely the Cowboys will be able to afford to retain him, considering they are already paying center Travis Frederick, left tackle, Tyron Smith and right guard, Zack Martin top money.

Again, Williams played tackle at Texas and is the ideal option to kick back outside with McGovern sliding in at left guard next year.

He could be asked to play swing tackle in 2019 as the Cowboys brace themselves for an unforeseen injury.

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.
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