Since the week 6 trade deadline of last season, Roy Williams has been under the microscope in Dallas. In his first season as a Cowboy, Williams was only able to post 19 catches for 198 yards, and 1 touchdown. Nobody was more disappointed in those numbers than Williams himself. “We just never got it right,” Williams said referring to last seasons chemistry with quarterback Tony Romo.
This year started much the same for Williams. After a full offseason of working with Romo, the release of the flamboyant WR Terrell Owens, and the assuming of the number one receiving spot, all eyes were on Williams to deliver. Deliver he did not. Through the first seven games (6 for Williams due to injury), Romo and Williams had only connected 14 times for only 249 yards and 1 score.
After the first game of the season it appeared as if the two had found each other and were clicking, going 3 receptions for 86 yards and a TD. But the chemistry did not last. Williams did not put up that kind of yardage or show that kind of explosiveness over the next 6 games. In the week 4 matchup, Williams was hit by Broncos LB D.J. Williams and sustained an injury to his rib cartilage. The injury sidelined him for a game and the bye week.
While the pressure built up over the lack of chemistry and poor results on the field, Romo and Williams found themselves the main topic of the media. Williams made a few comments regarding the lack of good passes thrown his way, and that the other receivers seem to have balls thrown in the right places. Williams then found himself having to defend his words saying that, “I didn’t complain that I didn’t get the ball. I got seven opportunities in [last Sunday’s win over Seattle]. All I said was that, when it comes to me, it’s not there. The percentages … back my case. I’m not saying it can’t be fixed because that’s what we do every day. We try to work on it and get it fixed.”
Williams even started drawing comparisons to troubled wideout Terrell Owens, “I’m not a T.O. [Terrell Owens] or I’m not trying to be a T.O. I don’t know why people are trying to put me in that category because I’m happy to win. I’ve said that 100 times.”
But after a week of throwing together after practice and putting in some extra reps, Williams was able to give a glimpse of what the Cowboys were hoping for when the traded 3 draft picks for him in the offseason. In Philadelphia, Williams caught 5 passes (high since joining the Cowboys) for 75 yards, and showed some explosiveness running after the catch. After the game, Romo was happy for his receiver, “Whatever the defense dictates, that’s where we’re going to go with the ball,” Romo said. “And I think if you watch enough of our games, you’ll see that that predominantly happens. I’m happy for Roy, he’s been working hard.”
Williams was equally happy to get a break from all the criticism, “We’re just working. We’re just going to continue to work and we can only get better,” Williams said after the win in Philadelphia. “Every player goes through something. I didn’t really think this was a big deal. I knew what I said and I knew how everybody took it. But I knew how me and Romo took it. I knew how this football team took it and it wasn’t a big deal to us.”
Whether or not this new found chemistry will last is a wait-and-see approach, but with the emergence of “number 2” (Miles Austin) the future looks bright for both Williams and Romo. We will see this Sunday when the ‘Boys travel to Green Bay to play the Packers. If nothing else they just need to dial 9-11.