Cowboys rookie DE Sam Williams has breakout game vs. Lions
There were a lot of firsts in the Dallas Cowboys victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Undrafated rookie Peyton Hendershot scored his first NFL touchdown. Jourdan Lewis had his first interception of the year (which sadly resulted in an injury). Dak Prescott had his first passing touchdown of the year after returning from his thumb injury. And, rookie DE Sam Williams had his first sack of the year against Jared Goff.
The sack wasn’t even the only one of the day for Sam Williams as the second-round pick of Ole Miss had an absolute breakout game against Detroit.
This certainly isn’t the first time the Ole Miss product has brought value to this team. It’s just hard to stand out and get playing time when guys like Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler, Dorance Armstrong, and more are all a part of your defensive group. However, that doesn’t devalue the fact that Dan Quinn and Will McClay were clearly right in their strong desire to bring this 6-foot-4, 260-pounder aboard to Dallas.
In Week 5 against the Rams, Williams had two tackles, a pass deflection, and a fumble recovery. It earned him PFF’s highest rookie DL grade for Week 5 over names like Nik Bonitto and Aidan Hutchinson. Heading into Sunday’s game he had three tackles, one defended pass, and three stuffs on the year.
Against the Lions, Williams was stellar and made the most of his chances. Not only did he get his first career sack, but he also had a WWE-style tackle for loss against Detroit’s Justin Jackson. As you can see in the tweet below, Williams literally picked Jackson up and threw him to the ground. To be fair, this really could’ve been called for a penalty (especially after the ridiculously soft call on Parsons earlier in the game.
Cowboys rookie defensive end Sam Williams has breakout game vs. Lions
That doesn’t take away from the fact that it displayed the defensive end’s strength and hunger.
Williams’ second sack of the game was one that helped seal the deal for Dallas. With just over two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Goff dropped back to look for a pass to keep the ball going and potentially stage a late comeback. Instead, within seconds, the Ole Miss product literally stole the ball from the QB and started running in the other direction.
Whether it was the excitement of the moment or just the lack of instincts as a rookie, Williams ended up dropping the ball on the fumble recovery. Thankfully, Dorance Armstrong was there to fall on the fumble to secure the ball for the Cowboys. This play allowed Dallas to go up by another seven points en route to their 24-6 victory.
The rookie’s dominating performance led to him receiving the highest PFF grade on the entire Cowboys roster for Week 7 with a stellar grade of 93.3.
There’s nothing better than seeing a rookie pick pay off. It’s incredibly clear that McClay knows what he’s doing and it’s no wonder why Quinn loved this guy when he attended Ole Miss Pro Day.
We hope to see more like this from the rookie as the season goes on.