Dallas Cowboys: Don’t Sleep on Terrance Williams

Jun 14, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams (83) runs after a catch during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams (83) runs after a catch during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys should expect a big season from fourth year receiver Terrance Williams in 2016.

The Dallas Cowboys had a season to forget in 2015. Armed with Super Bowl aspirations from the onset, the Cowboys quickly produced one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory.

Major injuries to key personnel obviously played the biggest part in the Cowboys’ 2015 shortcomings, but underachieving secondary players like Terrance Williams made everything sting all the worse.

Despite statistically logging his best season to date, Terrance Williams was a colossal disappointment for the Dallas Cowboys last season. When Dez Bryant was lost to injury in week 2, Williams was given a prime opportunity to step up and assume greater responsibility.

Instead, Williams seemingly wilted under the pressure.

In all fairness, Terrance Williams has received an exaggerated portion of the blame for last season’s failures. The Dallas Cowboys’ backup QB situation left something to be desired. Neither Brandon Weeden nor Matt Cassel were able to consistently deliver Williams the ball on target and on time.

Additionally, the Dallas Cowboys were desperately thin at outside receiver last season and were ill-prepared to adequately handle the loss of either Bryant or Williams. The team had TEs and slot receivers aplenty, but only had unproven and oft-injured Devin Street and Brice Butler capable of filling in at the X and Z receiver spots.

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But at the same token, this does not absolve Williams from blame either. Williams inconsistently ran routes. His effort, again, seemed to be lacking on certain snaps (a problem that Williams has had his entire Pro career). Dropped balls and failure to create separation against single coverage rounded out the list of sins Terrance Williams must account for in 2015.

Alas, there is reason for hope.

Terrance Williams’ story doesn’t have to end like this. In fact, 2016 should be his best season yet.

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First of all, forget the statistics. As everyone knows, statistics can be misleading. That was the case with Williams last season and will be again this season. Williams performed well statistically in 2015 because he had a truck load of more opportunities. Williams probably won’t perform as well statistically in 2016 because as long as Dez stays healthy, Williams won’t have as many opportunities.

Terrence Williams will have his best season-to-date because he will make the most of his opportunities. That’s what the Dallas Cowboys need from him the most, and as long as Romo and Bryant stay healthy, that’s exactly what he’ll deliver.

Terrance Williams may struggle when he’s the focus of the defenses attention but he thrives when taken for granted. It’s no secret the Dallas Cowboys intend on going back to their roots in 2016 (i.e. replicate the 2014 team).

That means a steady dose of the running game will drive the offense while a few timely passes to Bryant keeps the defense off balance. Jason Witten and Cole Beasley will own third downs and check-down passes to running backs will fill in the gaps.

Executing this formula will give the opposing defense about five reasons to ignore Terrance Williams and that’s exactly where Terrance Williams is at his best. Big plays are on the horizon for Williams. Sure, the all-to-familiar sideline comeback routes will be in Williams’ arsenal, but the big plays are what Williams will rediscover.

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Single coverage is all but a given when prognosticating Williams’ 2016 season. When this offense is firing on all cylinders, the defense simply has no choice. Williams, in the final year of his rookie deal, will be driven like never before. His effort will be at its highest and his hunger at its peak. Expect T-Will to make the most of his opportunities this time around.