Rookie Sam Williams chooses excellent Cowboys mentors during OTAs
With a franchise as historic as the Dallas Cowboys, draftees know they have a lot to live up to when they get drafted by this team. There are 29 former Cowboys in the Hall of Fame and many of them are still very involved with the organization. Rookies are wise to use that to their advantage. One such player is the team’s second-round pick out of Ole Miss, Sam Williams, who has a chance to make a serious mark on this team in his rookie season thanks to the exit of Randy Gregory.
With Gregory gone, Williams is a top contender to earn a spot lining up across from DeMarcus Lawrence as a defensive end for this defense. The 23-year-old isn’t letting an opportunity like that go to waste. He’s making good use of the resources he has within this organization.
When speaking to reporters during OTAs and minicamp, Williams said that he was getting lessons from both Micah Parsons and Hall of Famer Charles Haley. Pretty good mentors.
If anyone knows what it’s like to have a stellar rookie campaign and make a strong start in this league, it’s the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year. Parsons also knows a thing or two about finding the right mentors. The linebacker spent lots of time last season with legendary Cowboys defender DeMarcus Ware, which Parsons said really helped him up his game.
"“Micah has helped me out. [He told me] I just need to terrify these guys and open pass rushing lanes, things that I can do. Just start off with speed. Once they get used to your speed, then it’s like a chess match. Now they have to figure out what I am doing.”"
Aside from a fellow young star, you probably can’t get much better advice than that of a Hall of Famer. Haley is a 5x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro, 5x Super Bowl champion, and 2x Defensive Player of the Year. To be able to learn from someone with that kind of resume is invaluable.
Cowboys draftee Sam Williams got advice and guidance from Micah Parsons and Charles Haley at OTAs
Because it was still offseason programming, the Ole Miss product said Haley was mostly helping him with his get-off and his handwork. Williams referred to Haley’s teachings as “old school,” but also admitted how honored he was to work with one of the best defensive ends in the game.
"“Those guys are some of the great pass-rushers. I’m a good pass-rusher. I want to get to be like them.”"
The rookie also talked about how he is taking every opportunity to work on the little details and hone in on his technique before he can really get into the speed and power of his game. His hard work is getting attention from the Cowboys staff, too.
Head coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t been shy about how excited he is to see this young defender get on the field. He told reporters that Williams “looks like a guy that was born to play professional football.” We all know DC Dan Quinn agrees too, given he was one of the main people pulling for the Cowboys to draft the Ole Miss player.
There will be a lot of eyes on the 56th overall pick this season. With holes in the roster, he has a chance to prove to doubters why he was worth a second-round pick. He’s certainly wise to get advice from two of the best in the game on how to better himself and get used to the difference between college and NFL-level football.