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Tuesday, October 15, 2013
A look back at Cowboys draft-day trade

By Calvin Watkins

It wasn't a draft-day trade that shook up the NFL, but it sure made waves in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Williams
Williams
Frederick
The Cowboys swapped first-round picks with the San Francisco 49ers and acquired a third rounder this past spring. Dallas selected center/guard Travis Frederick in the first round, a player the Cowboys projected as a second-rounder. Wide receiver Terrance Williams was snagged in the third round.

Should the Cowboys have drafted a defensive lineman instead of Frederick?

It's easy to second-guess the decision given how the Cowboys have lost three projected defensive line starters to injuries. But Frederick has played well this season and Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said quarterback Tony Romo is more comfortable in the pocket.

"I know this, when you look at just strength, he's anchoring the center and the base of our offensive front there and I can't tell you how much confidence that's given our quarterback," Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. "That was the key, how you get him feeling good."

In regard to Williams, the Cowboys are pleased with his progress. He's caught 18 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns.

There were shaky moments such as a few drops in training camp, a wrong route that resulted in a Romo interception in the opener against the Giants and a fumble inside the 5-yard line in a loss to San Diego.

But Williams has improved along the way and become a reliable target for Romo when defenses take Dez Bryant and Miles Austin out of the game.

"I don't think any of us could have seen the kind of progress that he has made since training camp," Jones said. "It is there. He's such an overachiever [to go] along with some great physical talent. I'm really proud of the success he's having for all of us and he makes a big difference out there when you look at what we're going to be doing the rest of this year at receiver."

Yes, the Cowboys could have drafted a standout defensive lineman, but two of the players they selected, Frederick and Williams, have started the season strong.