Cowboys Reveal Benching of Offensive Starter

Jerry Jones Cowboys

Getty Jerry Jones owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones revealed the team has a new starting left guard and his name is Connor McGovern. While Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy remained mum on any potential shakeups, Jones stated matter-of-factly that McGovern will start at guard against the Chiefs, meaning that Connor Williams will move to a backup role after starting every game so far this season.

“Yeah, he’s had a, frankly, great fall, and he has really impressed,” Jones told Dallas’ 105.3 the Fan on November 19, confirming that McGovern would start. “He’s certainly impressed his teammates and coaches and this is a great opportunity for him. And he will really, I think, the way he’s playing I think it says it all.

“I don’t know when I can remember anybody as an offensive lineman getting the attention he’s gotten as a lead blocker coming out of the special formation in the backfield. He’s doing it not just with bulk, but he’s doing it with feet, and he’s doing it with athletic ability. All of that is just intriguing when he gets down in a regular offensive line position. I think he’ll do well, he’s earned it.”

Heading into Week 11, McGovern has played in eight games this season earning a stellar grade of 85 from Pro Football Focus but the guard has only started one game.

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Williams Faces a ‘Murky Future’ With the Cowboys, Says Insider

The Cowboys have clearly grown frustrated with Williams’ propensity to be penalized. CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker suggests that Williams’ benching means he faces a “very murky future” in Dallas. Williams will hit free agency after the season and could be playing for another team in 2022.

“The swap at left guard is a significant development for the Cowboys, and particularly for Williams, who is playing in the final year of his rookie deal and entered the 2021 season hoping to increase his value in Dallas,” Walker detailed. “Instead, Williams was forced into a preseason experiment at center that was a complete failure before being moved back to left guard — playing mostly well to this point.

“His Achilles heel, however, has been penalties that have routinely either killed drives and/or put the Cowboys offense in position to nearly lose critical games (e.g., in Week 6 against the New England Patriots). To date, Williams has been flagged for 10 penalties for a total of 110 yards, league high numbers in both categories, eight of them being holding calls. For contrast, his 10 flags are more than twice as much as center Tyler Biadasz (4), who is in only his second NFL season and four more than Terence Steele (6), who is also in only his second year and despite having been thrust into the starting role at right tackle during the five-game suspension of La’el Collins.”

McCarthy: ‘Both Connors Will Play’ vs. Chiefs

McCarthy admitted that Williams has had “too many penalties” so far this season. The Cowboys coach declined to reveal who would start between McGovern and Williams, but Jones appeared to let the cat out of the bag. McCarthy did say that both Williams and McGovern would play against the Chiefs.

“Well, I’ll just say this, starting lineups, we’ll deal with that but both Connors will play in the game,” McCarthy noted during his November 19 press conference.

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