Last season the Cowboys gave up a hefty bounty to acquire Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions, putting huge expectations on him that he may be able to propel them to the next level. For the entire season he had 36 catches and 430 yards, but after the deal he had just 19 catches for 198 yards and 1 TD in ten games.
That’s a huge disappointment, to say the least. As we approach the 2009 season he enters as the team’s top receiving threat, with Terrell Owens being cut loose in the off season.
There’s a lot of pressure on Tony Romo to succeed, as many pointed to Owens as one of his major problems. The feeling was that he felt obligated to consistently force the ball to TO, detracting from his performance and that of some of the other receivers.
While tight end Jason Witten may be the top receiver for the team, he already had 81 catches and 952 yards in 2008, exactly how much better could he potentially get? The team is going to have to look to get the ball downfield, and Williams has proven in the past to be capable of doing so. Let’s not forget his big 2006 campaign, when he had 82 catches for 1,310 yards. That year he had 24 catches for 20+ yards.
He’s not going to be a stud in the red zone. He’s never had more than 8 TD catches in a season, with only 30 in his five-year career. While the catches and yards are going to rebound, don’t look for the TD to be enough to carry him to the elite levels.
The other big issue is his ability to stay on the field. Only once as he played in all 16 games, certainly limiting his potential to post the monster numbers expected from the seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft.
As for what I would expect from him this season:
Receiving: 71 catches, 1,075 yards, 7 TD
Those numbers would make him a solid #2 option in all formats. I don’t see him as being one of the elite, but with a full training camp to adjust to the offense he should be able to get worked in and flourish as the top receiver in the system (albeit, potentially the second option).
He said it himself, quoted on CBS as saying, “If I’m coached to do it the right way, I can do it. Just tell me what to do and I can do it, coach. Because, once again, I am a coachable wide receiver who does what he’s coached to do.”
While he wouldn’t be my top choice to have as my second WR, he certainly is a player that I’d feel comfortable owning.
What about you? How do you see Williams performing this season? Could he emerge as one of the elite?
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