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Mailbag: Is Williams most underrated Cowboy?


Pro Football Focus recently named Sam Williams the Cowboys' most underrated player. In some ways, I agree. He's definitely shown flashes. In other ways, I wonder if he's ever going to reach his full potential. What do you think? Is he the most underrated? If not, who would be your pick? – Jonathan Norris/Atlanta, GA

Nick Eatman: I know the "underrated" and "overrated" tags get used too often because the question I always ask is "what's his rating then?" And who is the person rating them. I think "under the radar" might be better used for Williams. He's not rated high right now because he really hasn't done anything yet. But now he'll have the opportunity to shine with both Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler in Washington. Williams should get the chance to play more and he'll be able to improve that rating. To answer the second question, I would put a few guys in a category of players ready to take that next step. I'd say Osa Odighizuwa, Luke Schoonmaker and Juanyeh Thomas are all ready to have their best season yet with a sizeable leap.

Patrik: I was on the record as naming Sam Williams as one I believed would break out in 2023, but it didn't happen and for a couple reasons that no longer exist, which is to say he will have all of the opportunity in the world to make good on my prediction — even if it's a year later. He's fast, strong, twitchy with an elite motor and excellent bend off of the edge and fully has the potential to be a dominant pass rusher in the NFL. But when Dante Fowler was around and still impacting games, and with fewer penalties than Williams, it made it difficult for the latter to beat out the former. With Fowler (and Armstrong) now in Washington, Williams will get a heavy dose of reps — likely the most he's ever seen — and we're about to find out exactly what he will or will not be for the Cowboys. So is he the most underrated right now? I'd say no. That dubious honor is still, still, owned by DeMarcus Lawrence (and I will never be able to wrap my head about that).

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