IRVING, Texas – This weekend is supposed to be about the evaluation of rookies and first-year players and how they might fit into the roster.
However, the Dallas Cowboys always keep their eyes open for (affordable) available veterans as well. That was evident today when the club worked out running back Ryan Williams, a second-round pick (38th overall) of the Arizona Cardinals in 2011.
While the club made no official announcement as of this post, Williams sent out a tweet stating he signed and will be a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
In the past three seasons, injuries have more than plagued Williams, the pick out of Virginia Tech. Williams has just 58 career rushing attempts for 165 yards in just five games.
“I’ve worked my tail off to get to this point,” Williams said after the workout. “It was a rocky road, but I got it done. Regardless of how anybody sees my career going, it was beneficial for me not to play last year and the other year I got hurt with my shoulder. It just gives my knee more time. This isn’t an easy injury to come back from at all. It worked for me.”
He missed his entire rookie season in 2011 when he tore his patella tendon (right knee) in a preseason game. He then missed most of 2012 with a shoulder injury and didn’t play in any of Arizona’s games last season (rehabbing).
“One thing about me, I’m never going to quit, especially with this dream man,” Williams said Saturday. “I want to be great. I’m going to fight until I can’t fight no more.”
The Cardinals cut Williams last Monday after three disappointing seasons and the Cowboys were his first workout.
“I’ve just had bad luck,” Williams said. “Things happen. I believe everything happens for a reason. I’m here to prove that I can be a running back that can come back from these injuries. It’s tough when you’re constantly reminded about it. When you’re constantly doubted about it. I believe in my own abilities. When I’m healthy, there’s no one who can tell what I can’t do.”
In between practices this afternoon at Valley Ranch, Williams had a workout with running backs coach Gary Brown, witnessed by more than a dozen scouts and coaches, along with head coach Jason Garrett and director of player personnel Stephen Jones.
“It was an impressive workout, he did a nice job,” Garrett said Saturday afternoon. “We thought a lot of him coming out of school. He’s had some injuries in Arizona and hasn’t played as much as I think they probably thought he would, but he’s certainly an impressive guy. What we saw on tape when he was playing was some pretty good stuff, even though they numbers didn’t back that up. You saw that kind of movement today in the workout.”
When officially signed, the Dallas Cowboys will have to trim a player from the 90-man roster. Behind DeMarco Murray, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar, the Cowboys added undrafted rookies Ben Malena (Texas A&M) and Glasco Martin (Baylor) as rookie free agents. Phillip Tanner is still on the Dallas Cowboys restricted free agent list and has not been re-signed.
The Cowboys also have two running backs – Josh Harris from Wake Forest and Jyruss Edwards of Louisiana-Monroe – in camp for a tryout. Those players do not count on the current roster.
Editors note: The Dallas Cowboys will have to cut a player off of their 90-man roster before officially announcing the signing of Ryan Williams. Once they have complied with the NFL rules and filed the correct documents, they will issue a press release and this report will become official.
Update: The Cowboys waived running back Glasco Martin, an undrafted rookie from Baylor, to make room for Ryan Williams on the 90-man roster. Williams was officially signed to his contract on Monday (May 19, 2014). Undrafted rookie Ben Malena of Texas A&M, along with Josh Harris and Jyruss Edwards (on a tryout basis) are participating in the rookie minicamp.