Dallas Cowboys Ryan Williams: It’s Not About Money, But Happiness


The Dallas Cowboys training camp in July promises to be as exciting as a cage match this July as four running backs vie for the starting role left vacant by last year’s league leading rusher, DeMarco Murray.Those backs include Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, and the dark horse of them all, Ryan Williams, who spent the entire 2014 regular season on the Cowboys’ practice squad.

After the high of being the second overall running back selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, Williams hopes of starting his professional career with a bang came crashing down when he suffered a torn patella tendon before the start of his rookie season. The injury was so devastating, they actually found his knee cap in his thigh.

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Williams wasn’t ever expected to return to form due to his total knee reconstruction. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury limited him to just five games his second season. In that span, he recorded 164 rushing yards on 58 carries, averaging a poultry 2.8 yards per carry and had two fumbles.

Three years later, Williams is still trying to get back on the field during the regular season. And the fifth-year running back is committed to making that happen in Dallas. For the lifelong Cowboys fan, resurrecting his career is not about earning more money. But it’s about love.

"“Money is not an issue for me. I feel like when you chase money, you’re chasing the wrong thing, I’m chasing happiness, “Williams told the Dallas Morning News recently. “The Cowboys have always been my favorite team since I can remember. The Cowboys made me fall in love with football. I’m thinking about the bigger picture, and that’s Ryan Williams being happy. Set aside from everything else, the money is always going to be there.”"

And Williams had plenty of opportunities to chase a paycheck last year. As a member of the Cowboys practice squad, he was available for other NFL teams to sign. And apparently, there were several teams interested in doing just that. But the former second round selecti0n refused to leave Dallas.

"“Any time my agent called me, I said ‘no.’ I told him to decline every team, regardless of what was going on. I didn’t care who called, where they’re from, what they was offering; I wanted to be right here.” Williams continued. “Because you know what, it’s bigger than that. Not many times you can go into an organization and you can fall in love with the coaches, you can fall in love with the system, you can fall in love with the trainers. Everything about this organization made me want to be here.”"

And Williams made the most of his opportunity last preseason in Dallas, racking up 125 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries (4.5 YPC). He also had nine receptions for 66 yards.

William’s hard-nosed running style impressed many Cowboys fan. Yet, the 25-year old back wasn’t able to crack the active roster last season, presumably because of issues with pass protection and the fact he doesn’t play special teams.

But earlier this offseason, the Cowboys committed to giving Williams a fair shake by signing him to a two-year, $1.5 million contract. And the veteran has looked good in OTAs so far. ESPN’s Todd Archer even called Williams the running back of the day last Wednesday.

Everyone loves an underdog. And in this group, that is exactly what Williams is. He’s also someone Cowboys fan should be rooting for this offseason…because he’s one of them.

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