Sometimes when the alpha dog leaves the room it allows others to grow.
According to Dallas Cowboys coaches that is what has happened with Terrance Williams this offseason as Dez Bryant stayed away from workouts in an effort get a long-term deal. Williams has taken charge of the receiver room and his rapport with Tony Romo has improved.
"He's not only taken a tremendous leadership role in the group, really setting the example of how you do things, he's expanded his route inventory," wide receivers coach Derek Dooley said at the conclusion of last month's minicamp, per ESPN.com's Todd Archer. "He's played X. He's played Z. He's played in the slot and every day he went out there and was the same player. Every route, every opportunity he had he took advantage of it. So he's made a big jump this offseason."
If Bryant makes good on threats to skip training camp and even regular season games, Williams will be asked to take on a much bigger role in the offense. The third-year player compiled 37 catches for 621 yards and eight touchdowns in 2014.
Second-year receiver Devin Street worked with the starters in place of Bryant and coaches praised his development after making just two catches as a rookie.
Per Archer, Cole Beasley's role wouldn't change. He'd still be used in the slot as a No. 3 wideout, but those three-receiver sets could increase to keep him on the field more. The Cowboys could also utilize Gavin Escobar in a move-tight end role more frequently.
There is no replacing Bryant's production if he skips games. But if Williams has indeed taken advantage of his time as lead dog and makes a leap in 2015, the Cowboys will boast a potent one-two punch when Dez does take the field.
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