Last offseason, you wouldn’t have thought that we would be in a position where the offensive line was a top need. Well, here we are. Last Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys’ 2021 starting left guard Connor Williams signed a two-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, officially leaving the Cowboys a hole at the guard position. While this exit is arguably not as hard-hitting as the Randy Gregory departure, the defensive end position has partially been addressed.
Williams wasn’t the perfect guard, but he would hold his own. The former Texas Longhorn struggled last season with penalties, ranking second for guards in penalties with 15. Despite the penalties, he was a solid blocker in both the pass and run game.
The Cowboys have yet to address the position, but they have a chance to do so in free agency or the NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at who may be able to fill his role.
5 potential free agent, prospect, and in-house replacements for former Cowboys Guard Connor Williams
Connor McGovern has so far been a solid backup and rotational piece for the Cowboys in his career. The 2019 third-round pick played nearly 500 snaps for the team this season and allowed just one sack and 16 pressures.
McGovern spent time in both guard positions and even a little at center, but the majority of his snaps were at the left guard spot (where Williams played this season). According to Pro Football Focus, the former Nittany Lion graded better as a pass blocker (69.2), but still graded respectably in the run game (66.1). Williams graded higher than him in both, but McGovern played well when called upon.
While it is very likely the Cowboys add a guard or two in free agency or the draft, the former third-round pick could make a case to start. He has shown improvement over this past season and deserves a chance to compete for the starting spot left by Williams.