Terrance Williams played 41 of 53 plays Sunday, and while he didn’t have much action, the Cowboys receiver didn’t like what he saw on film.
Brandon Weeden targeted Williams only three times: The receiver’s first opportunity came on a deep ball on the second play that went incomplete, but he drew a facemask penalty on cornerback Robert Alford; Williams didn’t run a crisp route on a skinny post in the third quarter; and he dropped the final opportunity, a slant route, on the Cowboys’ final snap.
“There is no excuse to not be ready when the ball is coming,” Williams said Wednesday. “I have to stay ready so I don’t have to get ready. Last week, it was just a mental lapse of me not paying attention. I have to be a man. I saw it on tape. I have to be ready no matter what the situation is. No matter if it’s the last minute or the last second. When Brandon Weeden throws me the ball, I have to catch it period.”
Running back Lance Dunbar and tight end Jason Witten combined for 18 targets on 26 pass attempts, and they caught 16 of Weeden’s 22 completions.
Williams, the Cowboys’ top receiver with Dez Bryant sidelined after foot surgery, insists he isn’t frustrated. He has caught nine passes for 144 yards and one touchdown this season.
“You have to be ready,” Williams said. “It’s my job to be ready no matter if it’s toward the end of the game, the beginning of the game or just the last pass. I have to be ready. There are no excuses for dropping passes or doing stuff like that, so whenever those times do come, I have to cash in on my chances. Whenever you have guys depending on you, it doesn’t matter if it’s the last quarter or the last minute or the last second, you have to fight throughout the whole game. That’s my job to continue to start putting that stuff on tape. I’ve got to keep concentrating on the ball and not worry about what’s going on.”
The Cowboys likely will take more chances downfield this week against the Saints, who rank 29th in total defense, including 22nd against the pass. Only five of Weeden’s pass attempts against the Falcons traveled farther than 9 yards in the air, according to Pro Football Focus.
“He’s a great quarterback, and it’s our job as receivers to make it quarterback-friendly as we do for Tony [Romo],” Williams said. “…Brandon is not trying to force things, and whenever he throws a checkdown, we have to stay ready and whenever my chance comes or [Devin] Street’s chance comes, we have to be ready.”