Where's Roy? Cowboys need more from WR Williams

IRVING, Texas -- In his nine games with the Dallas Cowboys, Roy Williams has 194 yards receiving.

The last time he played in Philadelphia, he had 204 yards receiving.

So maybe a return to Philadelphia is just what Williams needs to finally become a vital part of the Dallas offense.

Acquired at the trade deadline to draw coverage from Terrell Owens, Williams has yet to catch more than three passes in a game. He has only 14 receptions over the six games he's played with Tony Romo.

Time is running out for Williams and Romo to start clicking. If the Cowboys lose to the Eagles on Sunday, their season is over.

The flip side is that a win would send Dallas into a first-round playoff game, which means another week of practicing together. Each win after that means more practice time and, of course, a chance to win the Super Bowl -- something Williams could hardly imagine while playing his first four seasons in Detroit. Those teams never had a winning record, much less made the playoffs.

"I've always wanted to be on a team that just streaks, you know, that just hits it," Williams said. "I hope that we can do that. All we need is just five wins in a row. ... One of my goals also is to be the first team in the (Obama) White House."

A lifelong Texan, getting traded to Dallas in October was a best-case scenario for Williams, made even better by also getting a $45 million, five-year contract extension. Then he ran out of good news.

Williams didn't catch a pass in his first game, then caught only three over the next two weeks. Romo missed all those games with a broken pinkie on his throwing hand. Once he returned, everyone figured the tandem would get the Cowboys offense cranked up again.

Six games later, everyone is still waiting. Williams hasn't even caught a touchdown from Romo; his lone one for Dallas came from Brad Johnson.

"We're getting more comfortable every week," Romo said. "He does some things a little different than the other receivers. He does some things really well, so we're trying to get a bead on it."

Williams is doing his best to remain patient -- and polite. At the start of an interview this week, he literally bit his lip to prevent from answering questions about his role in the offense. When he did talk, he kept saying, "Merry Christmas to everybody."

Asked how he's adopted that approach, Williams finally opened up.

"My mom told me God has a plan for me. The pastor told me the same thing," he said, the fact he needed such counsel indicating how left out he feels.

The more Williams talked, the more his frustration and disappointment came out, "because I know I am a player in this league." He brought up his big game against the Eagles in 2006 and noted that he led the NFC that season with 1,310 yards receiving. He also said a foot injury that's slowed him a bit has "not at all" limited him.

"My thing is, if you brought me in half the season, you obviously know what I am capable of doing," Williams said.

Over the six games they've been together, Romo has thrown to Williams only 29 times, according to STATS LLC. Their stats show that over the same span Owens has been the target 57 times, running backs 48 times and tight end Jason Witten 42 times.

"People can watch the film," Williams said. "I am doing what I am coached to do."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday he "hoped that we'd get more" from Williams so far, but also "there is no doubt in my mind we will get more.

"There isn't any question defenses have to look at both he and (Owens) when they are on the field and they have had to adjust," Jones said. "Whether or not we've taken advantage of them or made the plays is something else."

Coach Wade Phillips also seems to be wondering why offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and Romo are having such trouble working in a guy who stands 6-foot-3 and has good hands.

"I think we do need to get comfortable with him, being able to throw it to him on a 5-9 cornerback," Phillips said. "That's hard to do because you look over there and see that he's covered, but he's not covered. He can go up and get it. I don't think we've come to that point. We haven't had that feel yet. ... He can make plays for us. We've just got to utilize him."

T.O. said the grace period for working Williams into the scheme has long since passed.

"If I was Roy, I'd be frustrated," Owens said. "He has a lot of talent. Otherwise, he wouldn't be here. I'm not saying that in a negative way. I'm saying that because I know he can help the team. ... I'm looking forward to having him really just be a part of this offense and let us be explosive the way I know we can be."

No matter how bad things are going in Dallas, it could be a lot worse for Williams -- he could still be in Detroit, where the Lions will be playing Sunday to avoid the first 0-16 season in league history.

Williams knows "there's an asterisk that goes by my name," linking him to the first five losses. His new teammates remind him of that, too. A favorite taunt is about Williams having been in Detroit when the team picture was taken.

"They say it's going to haunt me forever," he said. "I feel sorry for them. I kind of say I wish I was there to help them, but then I don't."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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