FRISCO, Texas – Sam Williams has all of the tools at his disposal if he wants to succeed this season.
The Cowboys are leaning on their second-round draft pick from Ole Miss to help replace the production lost from Randy Gregory after he signed with Denver this offseason. The physical traits are all clearly present, but what about navigating the hustle and bustle of adjusting to life in the NFL?
Fortunately, the rookie defensive end has found himself under the tutelage of a guy who knows a thing or two about being dominant during his rookie season in Micah Parsons.
Parsons has been a calming influence and administered a healthy diet of advice for Williams, proving that the 23-year-old linebacker is already well ahead of his years in the maturity department.
"Micah has helped me out," Williams said. "[He told me] I just need to terrify these guys and open pass rushing lanes, things that I can do. Just start off with speed. Once they get used to your speed, then it's like a chess match. Now they have to figure out what I am doing."
Parsons has not been the only person that has handed out advice to the talented rookie. In fact, it has not just been current teammates of Williams. It has also come from Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Cowboys' great Charles Haley.
When asked what he thought of the instruction that Haley has given him, Williams replied with a simple remark.
"It's old school," Williams said. "We did some work yesterday with my get-off and my hand work. So, it was pretty nice to work with someone like that."
It's pretty hard to beat the advice of a Hall of Fame pass rusher and one of the game's biggest and brightest rising defensive stars, no question. Plus, the attention to detail and constant schooling Williams has been exposed to with the Cowboys early on has paid dividends.
"We all have days to process it and we have walk throughs, especially for the rookies to learn the plays" Williams said. "But we walked through probably five times a day so it's easy to catch on."
Some things still have taken Williams time to get acclimated to by his own account. He says his schedule as a professional compared to his time in Oxford, Miss., are two vastly different realities. But he isn't complaining. After all, he is a member of the Dallas Cowboys with guys like Haley and Parsons showing him the ropes.
"I will say that just being up here all day [is a lot] because I will get here at 6:00 and leave at like 5:00," Williams said. "In college that time would be in the classroom, but this is just straight football. I'm not saying it's a bad thing because this is what I get paid to do. I'd say that's the most difficult part because when I go home, I have an hour to eat and take a shower then I'm back in bed by 9:00."
Williams has taken full advantage of OTAs and the opportunities that it has afforded him to work on the minute details of his game as well as his technique, even if they don't allow for him to work on his speed power move, which he dubbed his signature move.
"We can't do it right now because of OTAs so I'm working on my hands," Williams said. "This is a perfect time that I feel like to get my hands right, my footwork right and open up my pass rush toolbox."
Where exactly Williams will lineup the majority of the time has yet to be determined by Dan Quinn with so much time still left before the team heads to California. However, Williams made it clear that he is willing to play wherever the coaching staff decides.
"They have moved me to different spots," Williams said. "I just want to be used wherever to help the team. Even if it's to do kickoff and kickoff return. I'll play wherever."
Kidding about the special teams part, of course. Nonetheless, the Cowboys must be happy with their second-rounder's willingness to do whatever it takes to win.
Even if it means manning the kickoff unit or being in the building for 12 hours a day.