3 Players the Dallas Cowboys were right to move on from

Sep 19, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) kicks a 56-yard field goal out of the hold of kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) as time expires against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) kicks a 56-yard field goal out of the hold of kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) as time expires against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Cowboys
Sep 8, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and offensive guard Connor Williams (52) in action during the game between the Cowboys and the Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys departure No. 1: Connor Williams, Guard

When the Dallas Cowboys took Connor Williams out of Texas in the 2018 NFL Draft — which was held in AT&T Stadium — it seemed they got quite the steal. Some felt Williams could sneak into the first round and Dallas added him to a line that was still elite with Tyron Smith, Zach Martin, and La’el Collins.

Williams took over at left guard and while he struggled some as a rookie with his transition from tackle to the interior at the next level, he did show progress in year two. Williams looked more like a guard as he put on muscle and wasn’t as lean as when he played on the edge at Texas.

In 2020, he didn’t have an outstanding season but he did prove to be the glue of the line. While everyone else struggled with health, he started all 16 games. But then in 2021, he trended in the wrong direction.

His play wasn’t terrible but he was flagged for 17 penalties — three of which were declined. He gave up 145 yards and it seemed as though he killed several key drives throughout the season.

Williams hit free agency in the offseason and Dallas didn’t seem interested in re-signing him. He wound up landing in Miami, signing a two-year, $14 million deal with the Dolphins. He should be able to live up to that deal but Dallas still did the right thing by letting him go.

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Penalties have been a huge issue in recent years for them and by not retaining someone who was benched for three games for penalty issues, they might finally be convincing their team they do care about cleaning this up.