Funny how things happen sometimes. Just this morning I heard Warren Sapp talking about the epic battles between Reggie White and Erik Williams back in the day…
Then I see Bryan Broaddus post this blog over at DC.com, read here.
I remember White on the sideline talking about how Williams on the opening play hit him in his throat with his fist, or take his thumb and poke White in the eye blurring his vision. I had never seen a player leg whip Reggie or dive in the back of his legs like Williams did. Williams was able to reduce one of the greatest rushers of all time into a non-factor in the game.
That battle actually started when White played for Philadelphia. In a game in 1992, Williams held his own against White so well, he won NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Williams is still the only lineman in Cowboys history to win that award.
Reggie White was playing to survive Erik Williams and not sack Aikman or trap Emmitt Smith in the backfield for a loss. Williams would frustrate and physically beat Reggie up during the game, so much so that White would not play as hard thus we would lose our best defensive player for that day. Erik Williams didn’t defeat Reggie White with technique, he turned it into a brawl and Reggie knew it every time he lined up across from Williams.
In my career in Green Bay with Reggie White, I never witnessed a tackle that dominated him the way that Erik Williams did. White hated playing him and for good reason because one-on-one, Williams got in White’s head and took him out of the game. It even got to the point that we knew that someone other than Reggie was going to have to make plays against the Cowboys because he wasn’t . There is something to be said about a player that physically destroyed Reggie White’s will to compete. I never thought I would see it but I did and there many days where walking out of Texas Stadium, I wish I hadn’t.
I have probably said this a million times on here, but those games back in early 90’s were incredible to watch. High drama on a football field.