Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams can’t forget about what happened in the season opener, not with the Cowboys having recreated the scenario since. But he chooses not to dwell on it.
“This week, you just try to approach it like you would any game week,” Williams said Friday. “The more you get caught up in what happened the first week or stuff like that, it’ll just mess your mind up. It’s just one of those things you’ve got to just bite the bullet. Just stand in there and bite the bullet. Having the support of my teammates this week makes it easier.”
With 12 seconds left in the season opener against the Giants, Williams turned up field instead of running out of bounds after catching a pass from Dak Prescott. The clock ran out, denying Dan Bailey a chance for a career-best field goal of 60-plus yards. The Cowboys lost 20-19, the only blemish on an otherwise perfect season.
Although fans let Williams have it on social media, Williams’ teammates quickly came to his defense.
“That meant the world to me because it’s just one of those things that if you think about it, it can tear you apart,” Williams said. “I try my best to not let it faze me, not let people bring me down, which they do on a consistent basis. What these people say doesn’t matter to me.
“The only thing that matters to me is my teammates and they know what kind of guy I am. My coaches know what kind of guy I am. To have them support me, through that mistake I had, that meant a lot. They showed me that they’ll stand behind me through the bad times. I have no choice but to show them that I’ll run through a brick wall for them.
“Whether it’s not even getting a catch in a game, and blocking the whole game, I’ll do whatever they tell me to do.”
They continue to rally around him, too, as the former Baylor star is one of the most likable players in the locker room.
“Terrance is one of the most respected guys on our team and has everything to do with how he comes to work every day and how hard he plays,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He takes advantage of any opportunity that he gets whether it’s as a blocker, if we’re throwing him the ball, he takes his job very seriously. Again, he’s very passionate about doing the job at a high level.
“I thought he responded really well to that; I thought our team responded really well to that. He just came back to work the next week and kept doing his job, and it’s really a sign of maturity in him. I think that was — again — contagious throughout our football team. Everyone supported him strongly after that because they know what kind of guy he is and how much respect everybody has for him.”
The Cowboys replayed the scenario the week after the season opener, with the scoreboard inside the Ford Center showing Dallas trailing 20-19 with 1:05 to play, no timeouts and the ball at its own 20.
It’s the only time the Cowboys have mentioned the play to Williams.
“It’s like this, whenever somebody knows they should have done something, there’s no need for me to say anything because of the fact that he knows already,” receiver Dez Bryant said. “He knows what he’s going to do the next time. If he wants to talk about it, we’re there, and we’re there to talk about it with him. All we can do is learn from it and move forward. That’s what he has done. He’s done a tremendous job.”
Williams, who becomes a free agent in the off-season, has 29 catches for 394 yards and two touchdowns this season. He lived up to his Bryant-given nickname of “Sweet Feet” with a toe-tapping touchdown against the Redskins on Thanksgiving.