Cowboys future focus: OLB Brandon Williams


Position: Outside linebacker

Height: 6-3. Weight: 246

College: Texas Tech

How acquired: Fourth round, 2009 draft, No. 120 overall

What he did in 2010: Williams created a lot of buzz during the early portion of training camp, but he fizzled and failed to beat out Victor Butler for the third outside linebacker job. Williams, who missed all of his rookie season after tearing his ACL in a preseason game, played too hesitantly. He was inactive for 10 of the first 12 games. He finished the season with only four tackles. Three of those came in the win over the Washington Redskins, when he snuffed out a reverse to tackle Santana Moss for a loss.

What to look for in 2011: Williams will be fighting for a roster spot. The Cowboys like his potential as a pass-rusher, but it’s time for him to prove himself. He would help his cause significantly by showing during the preseason that he can be counted on as a core special teams player.

Quotable: “He has DeMarcus Ware-like burst off the ball.” –- Former coach Wade Phillips during training camp

Bryan Broaddus’ Scout’s Eye: “Brandon Williams was a guy that I really, really thought was going to be better than Victor Butler. Butler has more pass-rush skill. During the first week of training camp, I thought BW was going to be outstanding, but Victor Butler actually has better pass-rush skills than Brandon Williams. That’s really what separates the two guys. Butler is just a better player. There were times when you watched Williams rush during training camp that you thought he was going to be the guy, but as training camp wore on, he got progressively worse. Williams is going to have to develop some pass-rush moves. When you watch Victor Butler, he makes things happen. Brandon Williams doesn’t.”