Pro Football Focus, a website that specializes in analytics and rankings for the league, released its power rankings of the top 75 free agents in the NFL. There are four Dallas Cowboys players who made the list. Even better, all four Cowboys are within the top 40.
With the regular season quickly coming to a close and several players throughout the league becoming free agents in March, the rumors are already swirling about which players will end up where. Who deserves a pay upgrade and who isn’t going to make much money at all?
Since PFF is a trusted source by many, we wanted to take a deeper dive into this list and see who made the cut from Dallas and how they compare to others in their position on the list.
We will start from the bottom and work our way up.
4. Connor Williams, G
Connor Williams is ranked No.37 on the list, despite being benched for a portion of the 2021 season due to a high amount of holding penalties. Since getting his spot back, the former Longhorn has proved himself to be an asset to the team.
When playing on a line with guys like Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, it can be easy to be overlooked. But since returning, Williams has both helped the run game and decreased his penalties. Many began to argue that of “the Connors,” Williams was better than McGovern. Williams is a great run blocker who does a ton of damage in a zone-heavy scheme.
PFF projects that Williams will receive a three-year, $20 million contract. His spot (No. 37) is an increase from previously being ranked No. 40 in PFF’s midseason free-agent rankings. But how does he compare to four other guards on the list?
The rival Washington Football Team’s Brandon Scherff is sitting high up at No. 12. Scherff is currently in the top 15 for career earnings among guards. He dominates in both the running and passing games and is one of the best guards in football when he is healthy (injuries have plagued him from time to time). PFF says Scherff is the best interior OL to hit free agency this offseason.
Laken Tomlinson of the San Francisco 49ers is ranked at No. 28. He has only five penalties against him and only two sacks allowed on the entire season. The former first-round pick does well in zone-heavy systems but is adaptable enough to play in any scheme. Tomlinson has many great years ahead of him.
There are two guards ranked below Williams. One of those is No. 64 on the list, James Daniels of the Chicago Bears. Daniels has played right guard for the entire season and has steadily improved. Daniels is only 24, which would be a big asset for teams who want someone for the long haul. He is excellent at pass-blocking and has proven that if a team stops moving him around so much, he can grow and excel at a position.
The last guard on the list is literally the last on the list. Austin Corbett of the Los Angeles Rams is No. 75. He didn’t have a hot start to his career with the Browns and was sent to the Rams after playing only 15 snaps in almost two seasons. Under Sean McVay, he has proven to be a good asset to the OL, ranking in the top 20 for wins above replacement.
For someone who was benched for part of the season, Williams should feel grateful to be where he is.