Four possible solutions for the Cowboys offensive line
1. Move Connor McGovern to center and sign another free agent guard. This is very close to a roll-with-what-you’ve-got strategy. There would likely be a competition at center between McGovern and reserve center Joe Looney, who started all 2018 when Frederick was out with his illness.
But McGovern, as a recent high draft pick, would get every opportunity to win the spot. Williams would likely continue at left guard, and Dallas would find the best back-up they could get, probably for a bargain price. (Dallas hasn’t spent big on a free-agent contract in years.)
Advantage: Dallas wouldn’t have to use any of their high draft picks.
Disadvantage: It’s a risky strategy, at both the center and guard spots, since none of the three players named have demonstrated excellence on the NFL level. For it to work out, Williams would have to be better than last year, and McGovern would have to be very good or Looney would also have to improve significantly. That’s an awful lot to ask for, and not a wide margin of error.
2. Draft another offensive lineman, with a high draft pick. This could either be a guard, a center, or another player who could play both spots.
Advantage: There would likely be a healthy competition at both the center and guard spots for the starter, as both positions would have several credible options. If Williams gets edged out at guard, then he could then play backup at guard and/or transition to the swing-tackle spot. This might be a better position for him because he played and excelled at offensive tackle at the University of Texas.
Disadvantage: Using another draft pick on the offensive line. The Cowboys have a lot of other needs right now.
3. Trade with another team for a center or guard. This would require a fair amount of research, a specialty of vice president of player personnel Will McClay, who has been known to occasionally pull rabbits out of hats. The Cowboys could use some of his magic now.
Advantage: If they could really find a quality player, they might not have to use any draft picks. Or they could get an older player for a 6th rounder, like the trade for defensive end Robert Quinn last year.
Disadvantage: It’s unlikely. Teams don’t usually give up quality offensive linemen. If McClay does find one, the player would likely have a high salary.
There’s one more solution to this vexing problem, and it’s a little out-of-the-box. In fact, it’s kind of a wild-card type of idea.