Tablet Sports

Williams’ two big catches critical for Cowboys

Terrance Williams’ day might not look like much on paper, finishing with two catches.

But, as play-caller Scott Linehan said, they were two of the biggest plays in the Cowboys’ 30-23 victory over the Seahawks.

His second catch is arguably the best one he’s made in his young career with the Cowboys.

Here’s the scenario: The Seahawks were leading 23-20 midway through the fourth quarter and the Cowboys were facing a third-and-20 at their own 31. As Jason Garrett said, there aren’t many plays designed for that.

With the pocket collapsing, Tony Romo scrambled out to his right and fired a ball near the sideline. Jason Witten was in the vicinity, but it was Williams who stuck his hands out, made the catch and somehow toe-tapped both his feet in bounds.

The 23-yard completion gave the Cowboys a first down in what soon became their best series to date. DeMarco Murray capped it off by taking three straight handoffs after that 46 yards to the end zone for the go-ahead score.

“Biggest play of the game,” Linehan said of Williams catch. “The thing I’m most impressed with him is he has the limited ops in the passing game, but every time we’ve called his number, he makes a play. I’m sure that’s huge for Tony. It’s huge for our team.”

Williams called it one of his top catches, saying he was determined to come down with it.

“I rolled with [Romo] and he threw it,” Williams said. “It’s one of those things, if he throws it up, I’m trying to gain all his trust, so I’m going to catch it regardless.”

It appeared that the pass might have initially been intended for Witten, but Romo said it was going to Williams all along. He spotted him nearing the sideline and knew he had a tight window to fit it in.

“As I see it, I kind of see Witten and I see Terrance and I see their DBs,” Romo said. “The one DB plays pretty smart because he kind of backs off Witten for a sec and, in that moment, he’s going to try to get to Terrance if I shoot into him fast.

“So you try and get it over him, but make sure Terrance’s [defender] doesn’t have a chance to get to the ball and keep it inside. So you put it over the first guy and away from the second guy, and Terrance just did all the rest. He made a great play.”

Everybody raved about the play afterward. Witten said it was an unbelievable throw and catch, and Dez Bryant shared similar thoughts. Bryant joked that he wasn’t even nervous when the Seahawks challenged the play.

“I seen it,” Bryant said. “No doubt. My eyes were glued. I’m 20-20.”

Bryant himself made a significant third-down catch earlier on that drive. The Cowboys faced a third-and-5 and Romo went to Bryant, who was being covered by Richard Sherman, for a 16-yard gain.

It was a big play at the time, but quickly overshadowed by Williams’ catch.

Williams’ first catch came late in the third quarter after Seattle had taken a 20-17 lead. It was the first play of the Cowboys’ drive and Romo connected with him for a 47-yard pass down the right side.

Williams celebrated by tossing the ball downfield, drawing a delay of game penalty, but that play got the Cowboys in field goal range and they tied the game at 20-20.

“His coach at Baylor did a great job, did a great job just in teaching him how to rise to the moment,” owner Jerry Jones said. “You don’t just walk out there and decide to make that play when you climb through the ropes.

“You’ve got to in your mind have seen yourself make that kind of play for a thousand plays and, boy, when he had a chance to do it and it was on the line here in Seattle, against Seattle, Terrance Williams made it.”