Is this Cowboys Terrance Williams last year in Dallas?

Jan 3, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams (83) catches a pass in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. Washington won 34-23. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams (83) catches a pass in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. Washington won 34-23. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

In a contract year, will the Dallas Cowboys get a big year from receiver Terrance Williams or another sub par performance like 2015?

Stats alone never really tell the entire story, but they do help a lot.

While there are intangibles and other things that go into player evaluation, it’s still mostly about performance.  Especially in today’s NFL, if you’re not performing, teams have no qualms when it comes to asking you to hand in your play book, turn in your key card and look for work elsewhere.

One player, possibly above any other, that will be the most intriguing when it comes to where they play in 2017 in Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams.

Drafted in the third round in 2013, Williams has had some memorable moments in a Dallas uniform.

The infamous play where quarterback Tony Romo juked All-World defender J.J. Watt out of his shoes and threw a 40+ yard bomb for touchdown?  It was Williams with the reception.

The big time play to keep the momentum going in an upset effort in Seattle, that was Williams converting out of nowhere on third down and twenty.

The plays when it was most needed, down fourteen late in the second quarter and again to take the lead for good late in the fourth quarter in the playoffs versus Detroit?  Yup, that man T-Will again.

Unfortunately, the NFL is the ultimate “what have you done for me lately” business and last year, Williams was far from spectacular.

Blame it on Romo only playing four games.  Blame it on the pathetic three-headed Weeden-Cassel-Moore monster.  Blame it on not having a healthy Dez Bryant to distract teams.  Blame it on whatever you like, the cold, hard truth is that Williams did not step up.

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Even with career highs in targets (93), catches (52) and yards (840), Williams had a career low in touchdowns (3).  More obvious than the lack of touchdowns were the lack of “step up” plays like those highlighted above.

At a time when everything surrounding this offense seemed to be doom and gloom, Williams appeared to be just one of the guys and not the guy.

This offseason, guys like Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns (four years, $40 million, $20 million guaranteed) and San Diego’s Keenan Allen (four years, $45 million, $20 million guaranteed) signed huge extensions leaving many to ponder what Williams’ price will be next season.

One thing is for certain, the Cowboys will not be able to retain his services for the $1.6 million he’ll bank in 2016.  Another certainty is that the Cowboys can’t really afford to hand over $20 million guaranteed for him either.

If some team values Williams that much in the offseason next year, all that Cowboys fans will be left with is memories such as those videos.  Not one should shed a tear over that decision either.

This season will be intriguing when it comes to the development of receivers Brice Butler and Lucky Whitehead as Williams tries to regain his previous form.  The more reps they get, the more likely it is that Williams production suffers because of it.

Besides, the truth is that Williams is a great Robin but he doesn’t have the ability to be Batman.

Hurns and his fellow teammate Allen Robinson take turns sharing the lead role in their super duo.  Allen does not really have anyone to share that role with so it’s his alone.

Williams will never be the main man in Big D, despite his playoff successes.  When the true super hero of the receiving corp was sidelined, Williams maintained his sidekick identity.  That will carry a lot of weight when heading into negotiations.

Another factor is that the Cowboys cannot afford to tie up $40+ million to a second receiver when Bryant is guaranteed $32 million of his $70 million deal and Dallas will still need to do mega deals with guard Zack Martin and center Travis Frederick while keeping enough in the coffers to address needs on the defense as they come up.

Will T-Will get paid like Hurns and Allen?  In this day and age, someone will probably throw him that cash.  Atlanta gave free agent Mohammed Sanu a five-year, $32.5 million deal that included $14 million guaranteed.

Williams numbers and play exceed Sanu’s output in every respect.  His numbers are pretty much on par with Allen’s.  The pay day is coming.

It just won’t be in Dallas.  Will he accept a home town discount of sorts to stay?  Time will tell.

Enjoy Terrance Williams for one more season, it may be his last with the Cowboys.

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