IRVING -- Roy Williams walked into the team’s Valley Ranch headquarters on Wednesday morning wearing a black cowboy hat and black cowboy boots.
Williams is loving his return home.
The Cowboys’ new receiver and latest offensive weapon, who was acquired Tuesday in a last-minute trade deadline deal with the Detroit Lions, has been rescued from a hapless 0-5 team to the team he grew up watching and idolizing Herschel Walker.
“I was proud of my opportunity that (former Detroit general manager) Matt Millen gave me, that (former Detroit coach) Steve Mariucci gave in Detroit, but my heart has always been here,” Williams said. “To have that star of the side of my helmet is the same as having that longhorn on the side of my helmet. And that’s a great feeling.”
The former Odessa Permian and University of Texas star signed a five-year extension with the team and becomes the No. 2 weapon at receiver alongside Pro Bowler Terrell Owens. They form one of the best tandems in the league and should help make defenses more confused on where to attack.
It might take a few weeks for him to be integrated fully, but he expects to get a few looks on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams and hopes to jump-start a rough beginning to 2008.
Williams was starting to lose hope that a deal would get done, but Jerry Jones finally made it happen giving up three draft picks for Pro Bowler. Jones had long coveted the 6-foot-3, 220 pound receiver, who offers big-play ability.
By adding a receiver of Williams’ caliber, the Cowboys expect to ease the defensive pressure that has been on Owens in recent weeks and cut into his production. Owens has been dogged by double-teams and both his numbers and the offense have suffered.
Williams already feels the difference in expectations in the Cowboys lockerroom compared to what he experienced in Detroit.
Disgruntled in Detroit, Williams had his commitment and work ethic questioned. But coming to Dallas, where he has long hoped to land someday, might bring out a different player. He will try to turn around a slow start that includes just 17 catches for 232 yards and one touchdown this season.
Easing the transition will be the Cowboys offensive terminology’s similarity to what he ran in Detroit.
As far as what he brings to the offense, Williams thinks he is a perfect piece opposite Pro Bowler Terrell Owens and forms one of the best duos in the league.
“I think I am a possession wide receiver and I think I can complement T.O. pretty good,” Williams said. “He’s more of the deep route guy -- big, fast, and physical. I’m just big and physical. I’m just looking to have fun and help this team get to the playoffs and the Super Bowl.”
Once Owens learned of the trade on Tuesday from Jones, he gave Williams a call welcoming him to town. Owens is happy he could have the defense pressure lightened with Williams’ arrival.
Williams’ best season was 2006 when he had 82 catches for 1,310 yards and seven touchdowns.
“I think everyone knows and sees that since the Green Bay game, there’s pretty much been a blueprint for how they’re playing me,” Owens said. “But I think with him being on the other side and other guys making some plays, they’re going to have some other guys to contend with.”
As he flew to Dallas this morning and walked into the lockerroom, he was flooded by the scope of his new situation.
“I have so many emotions,” said Williams, wearing his No. 11 practice jersey and Cowboys hat at his locker. “I am happy to be part of something special here. Especially being back home five hours away from Odessa, Texas. It’s a good feeling.”