Dallas Cowboys fans go through a lot of trends over time.
For a while, there was a loud crowd which yelled for Tony Romo‘s head and wanted for the team to start over and rebuild, beginning with a change at the quarterback position.
Then came the “Jason Garrett claps too much” crowd, who criticized Garrett’s robotics on the sideline and during post-game pressers.
This offseason, however, has seen an incredible rise in the “I hate Terrance Williams” fan club.
It makes sense. Williams had a promising season in 2014 with Romo at the helm as the number two weapon to Dez Bryant. However, 2015 didn’t come with as much success for Williams following injuries to both Romo and Bryant.
I am here to say to you, Cowboys Nation, that the Terrance Williams hate needs to be relaxed a bit.
First of all, no single player will benefit more from the returns of both Romo and Bryant than Terrance Williams.
Williams is the epitome of a number two receiver. No more, no less.
The Williams hate-train gained more and more steam as the 2015 season went on due to the fact that he was asked to fulfill a role he simply isn’t mean to play. Once Bryant went down, we all expected and wished for Williams to step up and fill Dez’s shoes to an extent. We wanted him to showcase his talents which many thought he had, and make big plays down the field.
Instead, we saw Williams for exactly what he is; a number two receiver.
When he is at his best, Williams is able to play the role of an outside receiver and isn’t forced to run a full route-tree. When he is able to play opposite of Dez Bryant, he can play in this role and excel. But, when he was forced to be the number one guy, he just couldn’t cut it.
But now, welcome to 2016. Or should I say, welcome back to 2014.
The 2014 season was a fantastic one for almost anyone involved with the Dallas Cowboys. And, even though some of the numbers may not show it, this holds true for Williams as well.
While being targeted only 64 times, Williams hauled in 8 touchdowns, a career high.
He then finished off his 2014 campaign with two solid playoff performances, combining for 4 receptions for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Dez Bryant has seen some ridiculous coverages during his career, but this was especially true during the Cowboys’ playoff run in 2014. This allowed Williams to work against one defender, find open space, and make big plays.
Of course, there is the other reason for me to expect a resurgence from Terrance Williams.
It’s a contract year, and that usually changes everything.
The odds that Williams remains a Cowboy in 2017 are slim, regardless of how well he may perform this season.
The team has a lot of money in other places, like in Romo and Dez, which will hurt the Cowboys chances of retaining Williams.
Newest Cowboy Ezekiel Elliott will take up a considerable amount of cap room as well, with a $5 million cap hit in 2017.
Then of course, the “Great Wall of Dallas” will each be due for negotiations over the next few years.
To make matters worse for Williams chances in Dallas, many expect Brice Butler to emerge as the number two receiver in the near future. Butler would be able to potentially fill the same role as Williams, while doing so at a much cheaper price.
While Williams may be done in Dallas after this season, that doesn’t mean he can’t get paid elsewhere. And, I expect him to do so.
So yes, Cowboys Nation, Terrance Williams’ talent has a clearly defined ceiling. He has shown that he isn’t much more than a number two receiver who possesses some big play ability at times.
But this year, his abilities, while limited, are all he will need. He won’t be asked to fulfill any roles outside of his talent range, and hopefully won’t be asked to do anything that superstar Dez Bryant would normally do.
In this number two role, Williams will shine.