I don’t think Roy Williams gets it.
Wednesday, in a story published by ESPNDallas.com, the Cowboys receiver — whose production has dropped significantly since the emergence of Miles Austin — had some things to say about his on-field relationship with QB Tony Romo. According to Williams, who cost owner Jerry Jones plenty in a trade last season, the two aren’t even on the same page.
“I’m the No. 1 receiver. But things are just going No. 2’s way,” Williams said.
Here’s my question: What is Williams thinking by making these statements? Is he really convinced he’s still the No.1 weapon on that field come Sundays? Or is this yet another case of a Cowboys wide receiver wanting the ball thrown his way more often?
And do I even have to go there — back to last season and what transpired in that locker room with No. 81?
I don’t think so, because despite what I see as a little jealousy from Williams toward Austin, the reality is that Austin has become Romo’s go-to guy on the outside — and it’s working.
We tend to leave Dallas out of the discussion when it comes to the top teams in the NFC because we’re all waiting for that epic collapse from Romo and his teammates. However, it’s hard not to notice what’s been right in front our faces the last three Sundays. Right now, the Cowboys are one of the hottest teams, and hottest offenses, in the league — despite what Williams seems to be saying.
Like it or not, Roy, it’s Austin who has become the offensive catalyst. We talked about it all offseason, wondering where Romo was going to get the big play outside of TE Jason Witten. And looking back, we have to wonder what the Cowboys were thinking by starting Patrick Crayton opposite Williams, or even calling Williams their No.1.
But let’s also be honest about Williams. Even with his claims, he doesn’t produce like a No. 1 receiver. He’s big, and he can play physically, but he doesn’t have the speed to separate from defensive backs down the field, and in the red zone — where you would think he would be money for this offense — he hasn’t shown us the numbers he should be getting. I would go so far to say that if the Cowboys were to align Witten in Williams’ spot — away from the formation and outside the numbers — Witten’s production would be better.
And the numbers over the past three ballgames for the Cowboys tell the real story here. Austin is making plays and, well, Roy isn’t. Let’s take a look:
Williams: 3 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD
Austin: 21 receptions, 482 yards, 5 TDs
Come on, folks, this offense is rolling with Austin in the mix. They’re currently ranked the second-best unit in the league, averaging over 411 yards of offense and over 28 points per game. The best thing this team did was promote Austin to the first unit, and look what it’s done for Tony Romo: In three consecutive wins, he has thrown for 351, 311 and 256 yards and a combined eight TDs — with zero interceptions. Yes, the competition wasn’t the best, but the production is still there. This offense is rolling right now, and with a huge game Sunday night at the Linc in Philly, now is not the time to bitch to the media.
Sure, I understand that Williams is frustrated because he was supposed to be that guy — the one who became the No.1 target in one of the bigger football markets in the country. Wear the star on his helmet and make big plays in prime-time games. But this is how football works.
Just as game plans sometimes fall apart on Sundays, players can emerge from nowhere to steal the spotlight — like Austin has.
And Williams is just going to have to get used to be the No. 2 in Dallas. Because nothing ever goes as planned in the NFL.
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