3 Cowboys Draft Picks Who Are Officially Busts Following 2023 Season

The Dallas Cowboys had a few misses in recent drafts.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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DE Sam Williams - 2022 Round 2, Pick 56

The former Mississippi standout has been a productive edge rusher over the last two years for the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe it's harsh to describe him as a bust, but Williams hasn't quite reached the high upside fans were hoping for.

After being one of the better defensive rookies in 2022, Williams continued producing in his second season, albeit in limited snaps. He played 28% of snaps in 2023, fifth-most among the defensive ends on the roster. Perhaps more concerningly, his snap count decreased as the season progressed, playing over 25% of snaps on only one occasion in the last six weeks of the season.

Williams is still an explosive playmaker on the defensive end, finishing with over four sacks in each of his two seasons in the league. However, he hasn't been able to establish himself as an every-down defensive end.

This is partly due to the embarrassment of riches the Cowboys have in their pass-rushing unit, but it's also because of the mistake-prone nature of Williams' game. He finished the season with eight flags, four personal fouls, and 80 penalty yards, leading the Cowboys' defense in all of those categories.

Williams would still have a role on the special teams, where he was heavily utilized last season, but the chances of him reaching his potential as an elite pass rusher are dwindling. Trading him in the offseason makes plenty of sense for Dallas.

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