Dallas Dealings: Cowboys Bringing RB Williams, DT Okoye Into Fold
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IRVING – The Cowboys’ on-field focus this weekend is rookie minicamp. But the personnel department’s off-field work is producing the signing of a pair of street free agents with NFL credentials.
On Saturday, the club worked out running back Ryan Williams, a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2011. Williams’ signing is not yet official though after a one-on-one meeting with owner Jerry Jones, Williams tweeted, “I’m a Cowboy.’’
In three seasons, Williams — the 2011 draft’s 38th overall pick out of Virginia Tech — has 58 career rushing attempts for 165 yards. But he’s played in just five games because he missed his entire rookie season after tearing his patella tendon, missed most of 2012 with a shoulder injury and didn’t play in any of Arizona’s games last season.
“It was an impressive workout, he did a nice job,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Williams’ Saturday performance at Valley Ranch. “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.’’
Dallas also signed defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the Texans’ the 10th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft who is still just 26. Okoye was out of football due to health reasons last year. But he spent four seasons with the Texans (2007-10) and started 58 of the 62 games he played. He signed with the Bears leading up to the 2011 season, and in two seasons, played in 25 games with one start, working under Rod Marinelli, now Dallas’ defensive coordinator.
“We like a lot of things about him,” Garrett said of Okoye, who at 19 is the youngest player ever drafted and who holds the same mark as a Division I college player at age 16 for Louisville. “He was a high draft pick a few years ago and a really young player coming out of school. He has a lot of talent. Rod was around him in Chicago, so we know him well, have an intimate type relationship, so we think that’s a real positive thing.’’
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