Could this Dallas Cowboys receiver, who was all but invisible last week, shine in prime time against the Chicago Bears Sunday night?
After two years in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams was primed to have a breakout season in 2015. Praised during the offseason for his growth by both veteran quarterback Tony Romo and the Cowboys coaching staff, Williams got a rare opportunity in the spotlight when All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant suffered a foot injury in Week One that would sideline him for nearly half the season.
Unfortunately, the third round pick out of Baylor in 2013 all but disappeared when the Cowboys needed his production the most. In that five game stretch without Bryant to line up opposite of, Williams recorded a total of 13 receptions for 233 yards and two scores. That includes a Week Three matchup against the Atlanta Falcons were he didn’t record a single catch as the team top wide receiver.
One of the knocks on Williams’ game is his inability to gain separation from defenders. That has to make you question his route running ability. But also, the fact Williams disappears so often has to make you question his status as the team’s number two receiver. Would Dallas be better served with a speedy vertical threat like receiver Brice Butler in that position?
Last week, the invisible Williams put on another disappearing act. After recording three receptions for 34 yards in the Cowboys season opener against the New York Giants (and a game-ending gaffe), the former Baylor Bear was blanked against the Washington Redskins in Week Two. The fourth-year veteran wasn’t even targeted.
Williams, who is in the final year of his rookie contract in Dallas, is playing for his job this season. So far, it isn’t looking good. Although he is stuck in the middle of one of the target-hungriest offenses in the NFL, T-Will needs to start playing better sooner, rather than later. If not just to give rookie quarterback Dak Prescott a more open target, than for the sake of his own career. Rather that be in Dallas or elsewhere next season.
One Cowboys insider believes Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears could be a great opportunity for the struggling Williams.
"“Terrance Williams received no targets his direction last week against the Redskins, which was surprising,” wrote football analyst Bryan Broaddus on the team’s official website. “I count two good opportunities in the game where he was open with a chance, but the rest of the game — he just wasn’t as good. If the Bears try and lock Dez Bryant down, Williams is my bet to see his share of passes. I was told that he had a nice week of practice and looked like he was getting back into the swing of things and could be a factor in the outcome.”"
The Bears have the fifth best passing defense in the NFL through the first two weeks of the season. But their entire team is also riddled with injuries. A whopping five of Chicago’s defensive backs are listed on their official injury report as questionable or doubtful for their matchup against the Cowboys Sunday night.
If those remaining Bears’ defenders intend on locking down Bryant in double coverage, Williams could have an opportunity to have a nice game. But whether the invisible receiver will actually make an appearance or not is anyone’s guess.