Friday, December 26, 2008
Williams frustrated in return to Texas
ESPN.com news services
A Dallas Cowboys wide receiver says he's frustrated by a perceived lack of involvement in the offense -- and it's not Terrell Owens.
Nearly a month ago, Owens and fellow receivers Patrick Crayton and Roy E. Williams met separately with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to express their concerns about the team's offense.
Since then, Crayton and Owens have said they've seen some positive results in the way the offense is running. Williams, however, has been frustrated as the Cowboys have struggled, and admitted as much as Dallas readied for its win-or-go-home game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Williams, who has been dealing with a foot injury, has 17 receptions for 194 yards and one touchdown since the Cowboys dealt their first-round, third-round and sixth-round picks to the Detroit Lions to acquire him. And after trying to dismiss questions about his limited production since coming to Dallas, in a trade that was seen as a way for the Cowboys to open up the offense and give quarterback Tony Romo a deep-ball threat, Williams opened up.
"I know I am a player in this league," Williams said, according to Dallas-Fort Worth area media reports. "My thing is, if you brought me in half the season, you obviously know what I am capable of doing. You wouldn't have spent what you did to get a person. You know what I can do. I know what I can do. I can tell you what I can't do. I'm just waiting."
Owens stuck up for Williams, saying his teammate has legitimate reasons to be frustrated.
"If you bring a guy over here and you pay him that much money, you want [him] to be involved," Owens said, according to The (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram. "He has a lot of talent. Otherwise, he wouldn't be here. I'm not saying that in a negative way. I'm saying that because I know he can help the team. Once we figure out a way we can get him more involved and he can help this offense, the better off we'll be."
The trade rescued Williams from the hapless Lions and brought him back home, where he starred at Texas and at Odessa Permian High School (of "Friday Night Lights" fame). It also resulted in a five-year, $45 million contract with the Cowboys.
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said a number of factors have played a role in Williams' lack of production with the Cowboys. He came to the team at midseason and didn't play with Romo, who was out with a finger injury, for three weeks, Phillips explained. And Williams' foot injury has also affected him, Phillips said.
"I think we do need to get comfortable with him," Phillips said, according to the Star-Telegram. "I don't think we've come to that point. We haven't had that feel yet. But I think we will as we go along or certainly next year."
Williams said he has not been hindered by the injury -- and that he is getting open on the field.
"People can watch the film," Williams said, according to the Star-Telegram. "I'm doing what I am coached to do."
But Williams said the most important thing is for the Cowboys to win on Sunday and earn an NFC wild-card playoff berth. He said he made that point earlier this week to teammates who have been ribbing him about having played for the winless Lions, who could become the NFL's first 0-16 team on Sunday.
"That's what I told guys," Williams said, according to the Star-Telegram. "They joke about me with the 0-16 Detroit thing and I just told them, 'If we don't win this game, we're all in the same boat. We both are going to be watching the same playoff game next week.' They all understood that. That put it in perspective."
Owens, for his part, said the Cowboys' offense will click "if we do the necessary things," according to the Dallas Morning News. "If Tony has the time and we get holes for guys who run the ball effectively and Tony can pass effectively, we can't be stopped."
Sunday's game against the Eagles does offer some hope for Williams and the Cowboys. The last time he played in Philadelphia, with the Lions, he had 204 yards receiving.
"I've always wanted to be on a team that just streaks, you know, that just hits it," Williams said. "I hope that we can do that. All we need is just five wins in a row. ... One of my goals also is to be the first team in the [Obama] White House."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.