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Rookie Mini Camp | 2022

Dan Quinn Gets His Wish In Coaching Sam Williams


FRISCO, Texas – Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been on the same football field with Sam Williams now twice in his life.

But it was because of the feeling Quinn had after the first time, is probably one of the main reasons there was even a second time.

The second occurred Friday during the Cowboys rookie minicamp at The Star.

Williams, the Cowboys' second-round draft pick, was among over 30 rookies on the field for the first time together.

Maybe he blended in a little more this time around, but Quinn recalled the first time he got the chance to evaluate Williams in person as the Cowboys sent some coaches to Ole Miss for a pre-draft workout.

"Leaving the field that day, I remember telling Mike (McCarthy), 'Man I'd really like to coach that guy.' So that's a good feeling to have."
And it might be a great feeling, especially considering the Cowboys actually drafted Williams with the 56th overall pick.

Quinn said he remembers what stood out right away in his visit with Williams on the field.

"Just his initial quickness. Sometimes as a pass rusher, beating someone to the punch is more than half the job," Quinn said. "If you have the quickness to get on somebody, both mentally and physically, (it puts) pressure on someone."

And for Williams, pressure might be a key word for him, in more ways than one. Not only will his job be to create pressure off the edge, but like with all draft picks, there will be the proverbial pressure that comes with the high-profile of playing with the Cowboys.

But if Williams is actually feeling that kind of pressure, he didn't show too often Friday, either before, during or after his first practice.

Williams' ear-to-ear smile rarely left his face.

"Today, I had a lot of fun today," Williams said of his first practice. "Coaches were pumping us up, but teaching us at the same time. You can't ask for anything better than that."

Williams said he remembers visiting with the Cowboys during his Top 30 visit in April and wishing it would last longer.

"When I came here, I told them I wanted to miss my flight on purpose so I wouldn't have to leave," Williams said, suggesting that Dan Quinn was the main reason he felt so comfortable. "It's just a connection that I can't explain. With DQ and the other guys, it's just different."

Dan Quinn met Sam Williams and knew right away he wanted to coach him.

Sam Williams visited the Cowboys a month later and didn't want to leave.

Now, they both get their wish as Quinn gets to coach up Williams as much as he wants and Williams never has to leave.

Sometimes, things are just meant to be.

But now, Quinn said he's hoping the relationship he's developed with Williams goes to the next level.

"It was there, going to Ole Miss, (then) he came here, then we started on calls," Quinn said of the history of his connection to Williams. "Like most things, relationships take time. But the longer it goes, hopefully the stronger it gets."

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