Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Their names read like a who's who of wide receivers. Bob Hayes, Lance Rentzel, Drew Pearson, Tony Hill, Michael Irvin and Terrell Owens were all No.1 receivers for "America's Team" the Dallas Cowboys.
Over the winter, however, the team cut the temperamental Owens and Roy Williams became the de facto No.1 wideout in "Big D." Now the question is can he fill those shoes?
There is no denying that Williams has talent, but talent alone doesn't make you a winner in the NFL or a fantasy stud. Williams spent his first four seasons catching passes in Detroit, not exactly the PR capital of the world and certainly not one of the NFL elite teams. Now his every move will be followed by any number of reporters and fans and their expectations are high.
He came to Dallas in a trade early in the 2008 season and at the time starting quarterback Tony Romo was out with an injury. When Romo got back on the field, he and Williams didn't have much chemistry and they didn't hook up very often.
Even when Romo threw it Williams' way, he didn't hold on to the football. Williams had just 36 catches for 430 yards and two scores last year (combined Detroit and Dallas totals), but that's not a reflection of his talent. Williams is still the same receiver who caught 82 balls for 1,310 yards and seven scores in 2006 and he'll need to be that guy again if he is to fulfill the Cowboys' needs at receiver and the expectations of fantasy owners.
Based on early fantasy mock drafts, Williams is being selected in the late third to early fifth round. He's been selected with players like Dwayne Bowe, Owens, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Wes Welker and Brandon Marshall. That's some pretty good company and it means he'll need to perform at a very high level.
In May practices, Williams and Patrick Crayton have been the team's starting receivers with Miles Austin and Sam Hurd running with the second team. That's not the most experienced bunch of receivers and Williams, along with tight end Jason Witten, will have to handle the majority of the pass-catching chores.
I'm of the opinion that Williams will be able to perform at a top level and so I am recommending that you take the Texas Longhorn product if you get the chance. Remember, even with the great Witten at tight end, wide receivers have led the Cowboys in receiving yards for the last 21 years.
|2008 Dallas Cowboys Receiving Statistics|
| Player || Pos || Rec || Yards || TDs |
| Terrell Owens*.... || WR || 69 || 1,052 || 10 |
| Jason Witten...... || TE || 81 || 952 || 4 |
| Patrick Crayton... || WR || 39 || 550 || 4 |
| Marion Barber..... || RB || 52 || 417 || 2 |
| Martellus Bennett. || TE || 20 || 283 || 4 |
| Miles Austin...... || WR || 13 || 278 || 3 |
| Roy Williams...... || WR || 19 || 198 || 1 |
| * - signed with Buffalo after his release from Dallas |