Dallas Cowboys Dud: Sam Williams, EDGE
The Cowboys were in full control with a 17-3 lead, and they'd just forced another punt in the third quarter. Dallas was pinned deep inside the five-yard line but, even so, they were up by two touchdowns and ready to get the ball back. Or so it seemed.
Dallas wound up sending their defense back out thanks to a penalty from Sam Williams. The former second-round pick has turned into a special teams ace and has even been lining up as a gunner — and doing very well. Williams, who did block a punt against the Rams, nearly got to another. This time, he was called for running into the kicker.
The five-yard penalty gave the Panthers the confidence to go for it on fourth-and-two, which they converted. From there, they had their longest drive of the game, going 70 yards on 17 plays, which ended with a touchdown from Tommy Tremble. As frustrating as that drive was, it should have ended after five plays.
12 of those snaps came after the penalty from Williams, which made it a seven-point game and gave the Panthers plenty of momentum and confidence. That didn't last, thanks to the way the rest of the team responded, but these seven points were on Williams. In the end, it didn't matter since the Cowboys dominated from there. And as for Williams, he redeemed himself as well when he recorded a fourth-quarter sack on Bryce Young.