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CB Williams closes up-and-down day with interception of Cowboys

Cornerback Brandon Williams tracks receiver Larry Clark during a training camp practice Aug. 1. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

With the starters resting Thursday in the Cardinals’ first preseason game of 2017 and presumed No. 2 corner Justin Bethel banged up over the past week, confidence in the position’s depth might have been hard to come by.

The Cardinals adding vet Tramon Williams last week might ease some of the worry, but a big preseason from second-year cornerback Brandon Williams would certainly be a welcome addition, too.

On Thursday, Williams flashed both sides of what has labeled him an intriguing but inconsistent option for head coach Bruce Arians.

The 2016 third-round pick earned an illegal use of hands penalty and a pass interference as he got extended playing time in the 20-18 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Canton, Ohio.

But Williams finished his day with an interception on Dallas quarterback Kellen Moore, whose pass in the end zone targeting Noah Moore was picked off by the young Arizona corner. The pick came with 59 seconds left in the first half.


“That was a great play,” Arians told Paul Calvisi of 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station after the game. “He had just got the holding penalty and — Brandon will compete, especially when he’s playing bump-and-run. He loves playing bump-and-run, and we love to have him doing it.

“That interception should really help (his confidence).”

Williams finished with three tackles and two passes defensed before Arizona went deeper into the roster for the second half.

Arizona’s cornerback battle after All-Pro starter Patrick Peterson has remained a concern throughout camp. Bethel had been healthy and the No. 2 option, but when he hyper-extended his knee, it was undrafted first-year pro Ronald Zamort who took the snaps with the first team ahead of Williams.

Zamort tore his ACL last Saturday in the team’s Red & White scrimmage, taking away more depth at the position.

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