Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams has had a tough go as of recent. With other pieces on offense like running back DeMarco Murray, wide receivers Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley, and tight end Jason Witten, Williams has had a quiet second half of the season. It was almost to the point where very little was going to be expected from the second-year receiver.
However, with the Detroit Lions making a concerted effort to shut down Murray and Bryant–the focal parts of the Cowboy offense, role players like Beasley and Williams were going to have to make plays if Dallas was going to advance in this playoff matchup. Some had speculated why Williams production had dropped off so much. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News said it was nothing more than decreased opportunities in a run first offensive scheme change.
"“When Romo was throwing the ball 45 times a game, he could spread it around,” said Gosselin last month. “But now that he’s throwing 30 times a game, some folks aren’t going to get passes. Count Williams and Gavin Escobar among the receivers taking the biggest hits. Romo will continue throwing to the receiver he trusts the most — Bryant, Witten and Beasley.”"
It was not much of a surprise to see Beasley have another nice game, as he has become more and more important to this offense over the past six weeks or so. However, the real surprise was to see Williams make two potential season-saving catches. The second year wide receiver’s first play came in the waning minutes of the first half.
Quarterback Tony Romo and the offense had been having zero success in neither the run nor pass game as of yet. The Lions were smothering the Cowboys, and up 14-0, it looked like Detroit might just run away with the game.
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With 1:50 left in the first half and facing a 3rd down and 12 from their own 24-yard line, Romo found Williams on a skinny post. After a tremendous catch and run by the Baylor product, the Cowboys finally lit up the scoreboard the announced their presence in the game.
As the game tightened up down the stretch and Dallas’ defense doing enough to keep them in the game–Romo was looking for another big play. Normally, the likes of number one target Bryant would be called upon in these moments. However, it was once again Williams proving his worth to his team.
Facing another 3rd down–this one from Detroit’s eight-yard line–the Cowboys were looking to take their first lead of the game with 2:38 remaining in the game. There was a feeling that a field goal, which would have only tied the game at 20 points a piece, was not going to be good enough. Too much time was left on the clock to think the Dallas defense could keep the Lion offense out of field goal range.
Romo took the snap and received great protection. Romo was sliding around in the pocket, trying to find more time for his receivers to break free. In classic Williams fashion, he broke free at the last second, making himself available. His quarterback threw a strike that hit him between the 8-3 on his uniform for the eventual game-winning score.
The player that has been frustrated, harassed, and called out by his own fan base over the last month or so turns out to be the hero for his team. In a game where the lead dogs were never really a huge factor, it was the inconsistent receiver in his sophomore campaign who ended up saving the day.
So, while we have all speculated that Williams, in Harry Potter fashion, has been playing in his invisibility cloak–it turns out that he was just waiting to unveil his Superman cape.