Dallas Cowboys 2014 Training Camp Profile: Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams Dallas Cowboys

Matt Kartozian- USA TODAY Sports

Since coming out of Virginia Tech in the 2011 NFL Draft, Ryan Williams has failed to meet expectations. The main reason why is he’s never stayed healthy for a full season. During his three-year tenure with the Arizona Cardinals, Williams had the chance to be change-of-pace back behind Beanie Wells. The Dallas Cowboys signed Williams in free agency, and he will likely play as a similar role behind DeMarco Murray.

A knee injury made Williams sit out his entire rookie season, and Arizona’s offensive line was the main reason for his lack of production in 2012. Last season, Williams had trouble finding playing time with Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington in the mix. That being said, the Cardinals gave up their 2011 second-round draft pick and the Cowboys, just days after, swept up the oft-injured player.

The good news for Williams is that he is coming to an offense that needs a pass-catcher out of the backfield, and that’s a role Williams can excel in. The Cowboys have a big running back in Murray, but they lack that player who can make defenders miss. At 5-foot-9, 205 pounds, Williams is an athlete, and he passes the eye test to be a solid offensive weapon. The Cowboys have a change-of-pace back in Lance Dunbar, but he is unproven and has also had problems staying healthy. Now entering his second year, Joseph Randle also looked bad last year backing up Murray. The main problem I have with Randle is that he is slow and isn’t very powerful either. Signing Williams is a win-win situation for the Cowboys, because even if he doesn’t pan out he doesn’t cost much. If Williams can stay healthy, he would be another play-maker for Tony Romo and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to work with.

Ryan Ratty is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanRattyNFL or add him to your network on Google.


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  • Bill Doerr

    Ryan Williams is done . He is a big-time bust he is not going to be some kind of major playmaker like the article suggests. He sat out of Training Camp last year saying he had knee problems even though after a complete MRI n Doctors exam the doctors told him nothing was wrong and his knee is structurally sound he still opted to sit on the bench. He lost his ability to stop on a dime n cut back & his agility/elusiveness along with his burst after his knee was injured. Arizona let him go because 2013 5th round draft pick , Stanfords All-Time leading rusher ( Holding records in rushing yards 4300+, TDs with 45, YPC , Only Stanford player with 3 1,000+ yard seasons, 21 100+ yard games, among more. Finishing 2012 with 1500+ leading Stanford to the Rose-Bowl where he earned MVP honors) Stephan Taylor just straight up out played Williams and it became so obvious Arizona just canned him after OTAs started. Taylor is going to be Arizona’s #2RB between the tackles type power back behind Andre Ellington. Once Arizona brought in and signed Johnathan Dwyer that was effectively Williams death certificate. Dwyer will split Power runs with Taylor n fight for the tough yards, He is an excellent goal line back & is basically a bowling ball with good speed at 6″0 230 pounds barreling down hill. Dwyer at just 24 and doesn’t have much wear on his tires after spending time in the Burgh as Mendenhall’s back , whom ironically he is now replacing. Dwyer carries a career YPC of 4.3 , He can really pick up some yardage. He is extremely under-rated. Dwyer already knows Arians offense as well having played for him & is a very versed in it, double as a excellent pass protector. He should pick everything up real quick . Ryan Williams was let go because everyone outplayed them and Arians re-built the RB to not only form a talented RB unit, but picked up players he is comfortable with that fit his system.