5 bold predictions for the Dallas Cowboys sees Ezekiel Elliott return and more

5 bold predictions for the Dallas Cowboys heading into 2023 training camp. Ezekiel Elliott back on the Cowboys roster? UDFAs ascending?
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
3 of 5

Sam Williams ascends to starting role

One of the most underrated rookies across the league in 2022 was Dallas Cowboys second-round pick Sam Williams. In 15 games, Williams racked up 4.0 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 9 QB hits, and 11 total pressures. He finished 5th in the league in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

The only thing Williams needs in 2023 is more time on the field.

He posted those really strong numbers last season with just 273 total defensive snaps, roughly 27 percent of the overall snaps for the Cowboys last season. Let's play the hypothetical game for a moment and say that Sam Williams was able to extrapolate those numbers with an increased snap count. Full-time players in the NFL generally play 65 percent of the snaps or more, so let's see what Williams' numbers would have looked like extrapolated with that snap count in 15 games.

Sam Williams 2022 stats extrapolated to full-time (65 percent snap count) role

- 10.0 sacks
- 22.5 QB hits
- 25 TFL
- 28 pressures

The Dallas Cowboys need to find a way to get this guy into the 'starting lineup" or at least among the top 11 guys in terms of snaps. He doesn't need to be introduced during Sunday Night Football to be a "starter". Last year, 17 players played more than Sam Williams on the Dallas Cowboys defense.

Dan Quinn is going to need to make sure that he plays more than most of the other edge guys in 2023.