Last season, the Cowboys personnel department seemed to continually pull rabbits out of a hat, finding guys with real talent who just hadn’t proved themselves. The star of that group was undoubtedly George Sylvie who seemingly came in from off the street to start every game for the ‘Boys and amass seven sacks. Fans were taken by surprise, but those who had followed Sylvie throughout college knew what he was capable of. He had been an All-American as USF back when the program was among the top in the nation. He was raw, though, and didn’t live up to expectations in his senior year – still, the talent was there. Alas, Dallas is hoping to strike gold again with their two latest signings.
Ryan Williams – RB
Williams was drafted with the 38th pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2011. Williams played his college ball at Virginia Tech, tearing through ACC records-books in the process. Fans were extremely excited for this pick. Despite being only 5’9, Williams is a tough runner. He is known to move piles; combine that with great vision and explosive burst – you’ve got an exciting running back. In the pre-season, however, Williams would suffer a rupture patella tendon in his right knee which kept him out the entire season. By 2012, the Cardinals backfield was more crowded and he never managed to settle in. Here in Dallas, Williams has a solid chance to become DeMarco Murray’s primary back-up. Despite his small stature, he is arguably the toughest back on the roster and perhaps capable of handling an extensive workload should the need arise.
Amobi Okoye – DT
This former Louisville star was drafted with the #10 pick at only age 19. A very smart person, Okoye finished his college education in less than four years. The Houston Texans were confident when they selected him, excited about his youth, but he never panned out. In four years he amassed only 10 sacks. He then went to the Bears (where he hooked up with Marinelli) but was there for only a year before being let go. He was out of football last year thanks to undisclosed medical issues. It is difficult to say whether Okoye will stick to the 3 or 1-technique for the Cowboys (maybe he’ll even try his hand at defensive end), but either way, he’s likely to be used in a rotational attack.
At the end of the day, these were two low-risk, very high reward-potential signings. 24 and 26 years old respectively, Williams and Okoye each have a lot left in the tank. The talent is unquestionably there, it’s now up to the Coaches to put them in a system where they could flourish. With two extremely hungry guys, though, the task shouldn’t be too difficult.