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Why Xavier Su’a-Filo should remain the starter at LG over rookie Connor Williams Read more here: ht

Dallas Cowboys rookie second-round pick Connor Williams practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and appears to be on track to return to action against the Atlanta Falcons after missing last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles following arthroscopic knee surgery.

That doesn’t mean he will return to the starting lineup at left guard.

Look for Xavier Su’a-Filo to keep the job after a strong effort against the Eagles. He was part of a unit that paved the way for running back Ezekiel Elliott to rush for 151 yards. Coach Jason Garrett said he graded out well against all-pro nose tackle Fletcher Cox and he allowed no sacks.

For the record, the Cowboys are going to wait until the end of the week to make a final decision on Williams with the built-in excuse of him continuing to recover from the surgery.

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Garrett said the team does not have a hard and fast rule about a player not losing his job to injury and they will do what’s in the best interest of the team.

Right now, that’s keeping Su’a-Filo in the starting lineup.

Just ask Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg.


“You can ask Garrett a timetable for Connor Williams return, but it doesn’t matter,” Laufenberg tweeted Wednesday. “After reviewing tape, Su’a-Filo is your starting left guard. Williams is just 21 years old and will benefit with an off-season of weight work, but the job is Su’a-Filo’s now. Played very well.”

And as high as the Cowboys are on Williams’ potential for the future, there is no debating that he has struggled with inside power at guard after playing tackle in college at Texas.

Su’a-Filo, 27, is bigger, stronger and more experienced.

He’s also no bum off the street.

He was a former 2014 second-round pick of the Houston Texans who was taken one slot ahead of Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence at 34th overall.

He started 34 games over the past two years before signing a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans, who released him in training camp.

The Cowboys signed him in Week 2 and was inactive in every game since.

His strong effort against the Eagles came following a short week with limited practice reps after splitting time in competition with Adam Redmond the week of the game.

It did not go unnoticed by Garrett.

“He did a good job,” Garrett said. “That’s a really good front. They have really good individual players and they play very well together. There are a couple potential Hall of Famers on that front, certainly multiple Pro Bowl-type players on that front, and he stepped in there and he battled and competed hard. You can tell he’s played a lot of football in this league, and he worked very hard to get himself up to speed to understand what we’re doing.

“One of the things we talked about that’s so important when you have new offensive linemen playing in the communication. It’s not only just the individual guy doing his job, but guys adjusting together. Right before the ball is snapped, being able to make an adjustment to be able to go to this guy or that guy or block it that way. I thought (center) Joe Looney did a good job helping with that communication. I thought Xavier did a good job.”

He should be even better with a full week of practice with the first team.

 



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