It won’t be Terrance Williams’ first official start. The Dallas Cowboys opened in a three-receiver set against the New York Giants, with the rookie from Baylor on the field with Dez Bryant and Miles Austin for the first play of the season.
But with Austin out this week with a hamstring injury, Williams will be more heavily involved in the game plan.
“Terrance, right from the start, has come in here, and it never has seemed too big for him,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday. “He works very hard. I think he’s gotten better and better at each of the different phases of his game. Again, it’s not easy to come in here and beat these NFL corners, but I think he’s done some positive things for us and made some plays for us. He’s acclimated well.
“He still has a long way to go obviously and wants to have more of a role and contribute even more than he has up to this point. But he’s certainly making progress.”
Williams has played 97 of 203 plays this season, making five catches for 60 yards.
Quarterback Tony Romo has more confidence in Williams now than he did in the season opener against the Giants after Williams failed to get the audible and ran a wrong route, resulting in Romo’s only interception of the season.
“He is starting to have some trust in me,” Williams said Friday. “I have to just keep showing him when he gives me chances to make plays on balls, just come down with it and make the play.”
Receiver Dwayne Harris (hip) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, but Harris said he expects to play.
Rookie running back Joseph Randle expects to make his on-field debut Sunday with a role on two of the Cowboys’ special teams.
Randle suited up in the season opener, which Lance Dunbar missed with a foot injury, but he did not play. Randle was inactive the past two games.
“I’m suiting up this week, so I’m very happy with it,” Randle said.
The Cowboys expected the fifth-round draft pick to have a role on offense this season, but Randle missed the off-season program while rehabbing from thumb surgery and thus fell behind.
“Randle has made progress,” Jason Garrett said. “There’s no question about that. He’s one of those guys who was very productive in college. He came in here, and it didn’t seem too big for him. He certainly has some running skills that we liked. We liked him in college. We like what we’ve seen so far.”
Randle believes he’ll be a contributor before the season is finished. He thinks the Cowboys now believe that, too.
“I hope they do,” Randle said. “That’s what it’s all about is getting other people to believe what you believe in yourself. I believe I’m ready to go, and I think they’re starting to feel a little more that way, too.”
Garrett gets credit
Jason Garrett no longer calls the plays for the Cowboys, and he doesn’t need to be married to his system, either, owner Jerry Jones said.
“He’s a young coach, and one of the things you’ve got to remember, that you should remember, is that, as a young coach, your system should be evolving,” Jones said Friday on his radio show on KRLD/105.3 FM. “There shouldn’t be a system that you’ve hung on for years and years and years. Ernie Zampese, for instance. Jason’s fresh in his evolving, as far as scheme is concerned.”
Jones gives credit to Garrett for motivating the Cowboys in their 2-1 start as they have made “dramatic change.”
“We haven’t departed away from our numbering; we haven’t departed away from our terminology,” Jones said. “We basically have all of that remaining, as far as the offense is concerned.
“But we did depart away from some of the philosophy the way we block it, and certainly to the degree that we’ve added a tight end emphasis in it. Plus, we’ve added a [Tony] Romo emphasis in it. That’s changed, too. We’ve had some dramatic change with the Cowboys since last year.”