Football

Williams to the Cowboys

Connor Williams. (Will Gallagher/IT)
Connor Williams. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Via UT release

DALLAS — Offensive lineman Connor Williams was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 50th overall pick in the second of the 2018 NFL Draft on Friday night at AT&T Stadium. Williams becomes the 338th Longhorn all-time to be selected in the draft and the first Longhorn offensive lineman since Tony Hills in 2008.

“Connor has all the tools you’re looking for in a great NFL offensive lineman and we’re thrilled to see him drafted by the Cowboys,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said. “He’s a big, physical and aggressive player who was a tight end in high school, so he’s tremendously athletic too. I think he’ll do great things at the next level and play for a long time. We’ll certainly be watching and pulling for him, and it’s so exciting that it’s right up the road. Dallas added a very talented player to their roster today.”

A native of Coppell, Texas, Williams started all 28 games in which he played during his three-year career with the Longhorns.

“It’s the Dallas Cowboys,” Williams said. “It’s America’s team. I live 20 minutes down the road. It’s home. To be on the phone and see my 972 area code calling, it was a dream come true.”

He was a consensus first team All-American in 2016, just the fourth sophomore in UT history to earn those honors (Hub Bechtol, 1944; Russell Erxleben, 1976; and Earl Thomas, 2009). He was named first team All-Big 12 in 2016, starting all 11 games in which he played.

“I honestly wore blue because I’m from Dallas and I love Dallas,” Williams continued. “I wanted to represent the Cowboys. I didn’t say it, but I wanted to be a Cowboy. It was all worth it, and I’m happy.

“I waited longer than I would have liked, but it all worked out. It’s fueled me, and I’ve got a fire in me, and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Williams entered the 2017 season as a preseason All-American, but played in just five games around an injury that caused him to miss most of seven regular season games. Despite missing much of the season, Williams came back to help the Longhorns gain bowl eligibility with a road victory at West Virginia late in the season. He would play the regular season finale against Texas Tech before declaring for the draft and sitting out the Longhorns’ bowl game.

As a freshman in 2015, Williams burst onto the scene. He started all 12 games at left tackle and was named a first team freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, USA Today and ESPN. He also garnered honorable mention honors as an All-Big 12 performer from the league’s coaches.

Williams, an Academic All-Big 12 member in 2017, is a two-time honoree on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. He was a finance major in the prestigious McCombs School of Business.

Longhorn NFL Draft Notables

*Texas has had 338 players selected in its draft history, 11th-most in college football history.

*There have been 44 UT players selected in the first round. Three (Tommy Nobis, 1966; Earl Campbell, 1978; and Kenneth Sims, 1982) have been selected first overall.

*The Longhorns set an NFL record when at least one player was taken in 76 consecutive drafts (1938-2013).

*Texas holds the record for most players taken in a single draft, with 17 going in 1984.

*Connor Williams is the first Longhorn offensive lineman drafted since Tony Hills in 2008.

*Williams is the first Longhorn drafted by the Dallas Cowboys since Geoff Swaim in the seventh round of the 2015 draft.