Hungry Cowboys defender audibly frustrated with playing time in since-deleted tweet

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys are reaping the benefits of continuing to invest in their defensive line; specifically the pass rush.

Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence are playing like All-Pros, while Dorance Armstrong is among the league leaders at edge rusher in run-stop percentage, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Additionally, Dante Fowler has quietly been disruptive as the DE4 in Dan Quinn's defense.

This abundance of riches allows Quinn to deploy a heavy rotation throughout the game (so long as Parsons and Lawrence allow it) and keep the stable fresh for the fourth quarter. This loomed large in Dallas' win over the Chargers in Week 6.

At the same time, having a surplus of EDGE's makes it impossible for Quinn to give everyone sufficient playing time. Playing just 29% of the snaps, 2022 second-round pick Sam Williams is the Cowboys' poster-child in that regard.

Williams let his frustrations known in a since-deleted tweet after Week 6.

Cowboys DE Sam Williams makes it clear he wants more snaps in since-deleted tweet

Before folks go and bash Williams for complaining after a huge win, cut him some slack. The timing admittedly isn't great with the NFL trade deadline just a week away, but there's nothing to suggest Williams wants out of Dallas. This seemingly is a matter of Williams wanting more snaps to help the Cowboys win games.

Sure enough, Williams cleared the air on social media after his initial post incited speculation about his happiness (or lack thereof) with the organization.

It's not always easy to read between the lines of "cryptic" tweets from athletes, but Williams seemingly meant zero harm with this post.

By all accounts, Williams exceeded expectations as a rookie despite being fifth among the Cowboys' edge rushers in snap percentage. In 15 games, he posted four sacks, 10 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits, three fumble recoveries, 22 pressures and 15 defensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus.

The production and talent is undeniable, but perhaps Dallas is waiting for Williams to mature off the field before it takes off the training wheels.

In late-August, Williams was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and unlawful carrying of a weapon. In December of his rookie year, Williams was involved in a two-car accident and cited for reckless driving after he reportedly was driving 98 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Character concerns were a red flag for Williams coming out of Ole Miss. While his talent and production is deserving of more snaps, it's not crazy to think the Cowboys want him to become a better off-field ambassador for the organization before letting him out of the cage.

It doesn't help that Williams is stuck behind Parsons and three proven vets, but Lawrence will turn 32 in April and Armstrong and Fowler are free agents after this season.

Williams' time is coming. He just needs to stay hungry ... and maybe go a full calendar year without any run-ins with the law.

More from Our Site: