Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Cowboys' Williams stops blame game
By Tim MacMahon
IRVING, Texas -- A few days after saying he would perform better if given more opportunities, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams reversed field.
Williams said Wednesday that the onus is on him to earn more opportunities. He has only one catch in each of the past two games, during which he has failed to catch four passes that hit him in the hands.
Quarterback Tony Romo threw only seven passes to Williams in wins over the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins.
Romo's only interception of December was a ball that ricocheted off Williams' hands to Redskins safety Reed Doughty. After Williams dropped a perfect throw during a two-minute drill before halftime, Romo didn't look his way again Sunday night.
"You know I have to get the confidence of my quarterback, because I didn't get a look after the first half," Williams said. "I didn't get a look in the second half. That's telling me that my quarterback has lost confidence in me, and so has the coordinator as far as calling plays for me.
"That's not on them. I don't blame them. I blame myself. I've got to get my crap together and try to help this team win some games in the playoffs."
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones does not agree that Romo and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett have lost confidence in Williams.
"I don't believe that is the case at all," Jones said. "On a personal basis and on a professional basis, I have not [lost confidence in Williams]. I know the kinds of plays he is capable of making and can make. I think we will see those as we go into Philadelphia and the playoffs. So I feel very good that he is on our team and out there with a chance to make plays."
If Jones expressed a lack of confidence in Williams, it'd be a confession that last season's blockbuster deal with Detroit was a colossal mistake. The Cowboys gave up first-, third- and sixth-round picks for Williams and a sixth-rounder, then signed the receiver to a five-year, $45 million extension.
Head coach Wade Phillips praised Williams earlier this week by saying he "played really hard," but Williams acknowledges that he has been a disappointment since arriving in Dallas.
Williams had only 19 catches for 198 yards and a touchdown in 10 games for the Cowboys last season. He was expected to replace Terrell Owens as the Cowboys' No. 1 receiver this season, but his struggles have continued while Miles Austin morphed into a Pro Bowler.
Williams, who has 38 catches for 596 yards and seven touchdowns, has 10 drops this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. No one has more. According to Stats Inc., Williams has caught only 44.7 percent of the passes thrown to him, which is the sixth-worst percentage among receivers who have been targeted at least 50 times. He admitted that he's been pressing when passes come his way.
"If I make the opportunities in my favor, make the plays, make the three or four plays a game, then that will relate to maybe five the next game," said Williams, who vows to catch 100 balls from the pitching machine after practice every day this week. "Make those and that relates to eight or nine the next game. Then, boom, there we go.
"But if I continue to do the things that I've been doing, then I'm going to mess around and be on the sideline, playing special teams."
Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.