Cowboys DE Sam Williams has support of Jerry Jones, McCarthy after latest traffic-related arrest

FILE - Dallas Cowboys defensive end Sam Williams warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Arlington, Texas, Aug. 12, 2022. Williams was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and unlawful carrying of a weapon, police said Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys defensive end Sam Williams has the support of owner Jerry Jones and coach Mike McCarthy after a second arrest this year in a traffic-related incident.

Williams is facing charges of possession of a controlled substance and unlawful carrying of a weapon after he was pulled over for speeding in the Dallas suburb of Frisco on Sunday.

In January, Williams was charged with reckless driving after an accident a few days before Christmas when he was traveling nearly 100 mph and weaving through traffic before colliding with a vehicle driven by a 71-year-old woman. Neither driver was seriously injured.

The latest arrest came the first day Dallas players were on their own back home after spending four weeks in California for training camp.

“I think any time you make a mistake, it’s a good wake-up call,” McCarthy said Thursday. “I believe (in) Sam Williams. I did when we drafted him and even more so now. So I’m seeing him grow in so many different ways. He needs to slow down. He knows that. So that’s the first step.”

Williams practiced with the Cowboys all week as they finished training camp at team headquarters in Frisco. The 24-year-old wasn't made available to reporters after news of the arrest broke.

According to a police report, Williams was pulled over after being clocked at 71 mph (114 kilometers/hour) in a 45 mph zone (72 kilometers/hour) in a Dodge Charger that was missing the front license plate.

Williams told the arresting officer he had a gun in the car, and the officer conducted a search after smelling the odor of marijuana. The officer found small amounts of THC and marijuana, which resulted in the weapon charge.

Dallas drafted Williams in the second round last year out of Mississippi, where Williams had off-field issues. He was suspended at Ole Miss in July 2020 after being charged with sexual battery. Williams was reinstated two months later after the charge was dropped.

Jones said Wednesday he didn't expect the latest arrest to affect Williams' playing time. Williams is subject to discipline, including a possible suspension, under the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Asked about Williams' off-field issues at Ole Miss combined with the arrests in less than two years with the Cowboys, Jones said, “This sounds a little hollow, but he is maturing.”

“Was he going 66 miles an hour?” Jones asked, referring to the latest incident that listed 71 mph on the police report. “So he's 34 miles an hour less this year than last year. So that's improvement.”

After referring to Williams' speeding, McCarthy was asked about the items found in his vehicle that led to the arrest.

“I am not going to get into the specifics of it. That’s a legal situation,” McCarthy said. “We sat down and talked about it the first thing Monday morning, so I’m comfortable with the direction that he’s going in. And he needs to learn from this.”

Williams played in 15 games as a rookie, recording four sacks and tying two-time All-Pro pass rusher Micah Parsons for the team lead with three fumble recoveries on a defense that led the NFL in takeaways for the second consecutive year.