Dallas Cowboys rookie offensive guard Connor Williams has already made a good impression with his veteran teammates along the line.
The second-round pick from Texas has posted on his Twitter messages ranging from his thankfulness to being a Cowboy to how the time is now to get to work.
"When a guy comes in like that, he's excited to work, he's excited to try and fit in and make it work," center Travis Frederick said Tuesday at his eponymous Blocking Out Hunger Foundation's golf event at Topgolf. "That's great for us. We don't have somebody that's rebelling against the things that we do. He wants to fit in and wants to make it work."
Eighth-year guard Joe Looney, who is entering his third season with the Cowboys, finds Williams' excitement about the franchise relatable.
"I mean, I don't know how you can't be," Looney said. "It's probably one of the best organizations. It's wonderful. It's wonderful to say that I say I play for the Cowboys."
Williams is slated to go against the likes of Looney and also fourth-year veteran Chaz Green for the left guard spot, which Jonathan Cooper, who left in free agency, manned for 13 games at a high level. Frederick understands it is the responsibility of the veterans along the offensive line to uphold high standards of performance.
Said Frederick: "As older guys, it's our job to bring him up to speed as far as technique work goes and the training and conditioning portion of it, and also teach him how we play. But on top of that, just make sure we stir him in the right direction and get our group overall moving in the same direction."
When Frederick first arrived to Dallas in 2013 as the 31st overall pick from Wisconsin, the cement was being poured for the vaunted Cowboy Way along the offensive line. The only premium pick was left tackle Tyron Smith, a first-rounder from 2011. Veterans with such first-round backgrounds that Smith, Frederick, and later right guard Zack Martin had, were absent from the team. Instead, the offensive line comprised of veterans and free agents, whether undrafted or veteran.
Nonetheless, Frederick appreciates the foundation those players helped lay.
"I'll argue that the off the field standard and the standard of what our group has become was actually beginning at that point," said Frederick. "Those were the guys that really dictated where we've gone as of now, and I really appreciate everything that they've done for us, the guys like Mackenzy [Bernadeau], Doug [Free], even Phil Costa when he was around, did everything we could to help us be the best player that we could and teach us how to approach the game."
Now, the Cowboys have a standard set both on and off the field. Frederick uses his visibility and captaincy to give back to the Metroplex.
"I'm really fortunate to have a platform to stand on and do something, Frederick said. "I know as an NFL player I was going to have some sort of platform, and I needed to do something with it. Being here in Dallas it's bigger than it possibly could have been anywhere else. Not only do we have great visibility nationwide, but the people of Dallas are so giving and so generous."
Frederick had more than a score of teammates along the offense and defense show up for the event.
"It's very important," Looney said. "A guy like Trav, the heart that he has for the community, just the guy he is around the facility, you want to give back to him just as much as he's giving back to the community."
Are you feeling good about how the offensive line is shaking out for the Cowboys with the addition of Connor Williams? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.