Cowboys Urged to Sign Former All-Pro Veteran Immediately

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys could make a move for veteran tackle Daryl Williams.

The Dallas Cowboys are being urged to add a former All-Pro veteran in light of their recent injury woes.

As the Cowboys continue to go through the early portion of training camp, injuries have been a dominant topic. That would be because rookie offensive tackle Matt Waletzko — who has been competing for the backup swing tackle job — is dealing with a shoulder injury that could require surgery, according to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News.

“It is considered a matter of when, not if, Cowboys OT Matt Waletzko will undergo surgery on shoulder subluxation,” says Gehlken. “Rookie fifth-round pick is not expected to practice this week. Shoulder issue has history, dating back to senior year at North Dakota.”

Cowboys’ Options at Tackle Include Daryl Williams

The injury to one of the Cowboys’ top backups at a key position could lead Dallas to making a move through the free agency wire. In a list compiled by DannyPhantom of Blogging the Boys, Dallas is urged to sign 29-year-old former All-Pro selection Daryl Williams. Williams spent the past two seasons with the Buffalo Bills after beginning his career with the Carolina Panthers.

DannyPhantom lists Williams as an “urgent” signing for the Cowboys as they look to address their depth issues at tackle.

“A move to acquire a player like Williams would signal the Cowboys have some legitimate depth concerns behind Smith and Steele, meaning relying solely on Ball would be a risky endeavor,” says DannyPhantom. “Williams’ ability to be a starter at guard also brings valuable depth inside should injuries or questions show up.”

Williams hasn’t missed a single game in the past three seasons. Over the course of his career, the veteran offensive lineman has spent time at left tackle, left guard, right guard and right tackle. During the 2021 season alone, Williams played 600 snaps at right guard and 571 snaps at right tackle. In other words, you could plug Williams just about anywhere.

According to Pro Football Focus, Williams posted a solid 67.5 offensive grade and 72.4 pass-blocking grade last season. Among all guards with at least 500 snaps, Williams ranked 19th in pass-blocking grade last season. Among tackles, Williams ranked 30th in pass-blocking grade of players with at least 500 snaps.

Compared to Steele, Williams is actually an upgrade over the Cowboys’ projected starting right tackle. Steele posted a 64.5 offensive grade and 60.9 pass-blocking grade last season.

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Report: Waletzko May Delay Surgery, Play Through Injury

Outside of Waletzko, the Cowboys’ top option at tackle behind starters Tyron Smith and Terence Steele is 2021 fourth-round draft pick Josh Ball. Ball did not play in a single game during the 2021 season after suffering an ankle injury.

As Todd Archer of ESPN, Waletzko could delay surgery and instead opt to play through the injury this season.

“OT Matt Waletzko (shoulder) will not practice this week, according to Mike McCarthy,” says Archer. “Cowboys still evaluating the injury and seems like surgery is more of when not if at this point. The hope is he could perhaps play with the injury before taking care of it later.”

Waletzko’s availability will likely dictate whether or not the Cowboys will make a move for a veteran offensive tackle.


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