ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the record, Roy Williams finished with five catches for 83 yards and no touchdowns.
But one reception, a 47-yarder, will be remembered as what turned things around in the Cowboys' 30-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday.
As the Cowboys were trying to run out the clock or increase their lead to two scores, Williams caught a nice pass from Jon Kitna and appeared headed toward the end zone. As he was running down the field, Williams switched the ball from his right to his left hand to avoid a defender.
Williams didn't see Malcolm Jenkins, who came from behind and stripped him of the ball with 3:03 to play in the fourth quarter. The turnover gave the Saints new life, and they would eventually score the go-ahead touchdown when Drew Brees found Lance Moore on a 12-yard slant with 1:55 to play.
"I had two hands on it, but the guy made a great play," said Williams, who sat at his locker in full uniform as reporters surrounded him. "I'm accountable for it. I lost the ballgame. I will say that. I let my teammates down."
Jenkins said he made a mistake in coverage on the play and tried to do something after Williams ran past him.
Williams has endured heavy criticism from the media and fans since the Cowboys made a trade for him in 2007. He hasn't had a 1,000-yard season or become the playmaker Jerry Jones thought he was getting from the Lions.
"It's not on him; it's 45 of us," Austin said. "It's on everybody. We all have to be in a position that even if something happens. You know we'll still come away with it."
Said Kitna of Williams: "He made great plays all day. Even after that he made a great play to get us a first down on that last drive. He was trying to to do the right thing. He had two hands on the football. Trying to go down, it just kind of got you off balanced where you're almost running backwards. It's kind of one of those scary feelings."
Still, Williams believes he cost his team the game and said he could have almost jumped from the Saints' 11, where he was stripped, to the end zone.
"It's late in the game," Williams said of the fumble. "That's the nail in the coffin right there. The nail in the coffin. We had the momentum swung our way. We were there headed to a W. That's a W if I just get tackled or just long jump my way into the end zone. Somehow, some way, we win the ballgame. Just fall down, we win."