Dallas Cowboys

This Cowboys receiver finally shows up in crucial win

Dez Bryant has not had the best of years, and now he’s hurt his ankle, but Dez is enjoying a Hall of Fame season compared to that of his teammate Terrance Williams.

T-Will has been so non-existent this season that he looked like a guy who would be cut in the off-season. He signed a four-year, $17 million contract in the off-season that included $5 million in guarantees.

We’re talking about a guy who entered Sunday’s game with 21 receptions for 216 yards, and no touchdowns this season.

Brice Butler has looked better this season than T-Will.

This was a guy that his former quarterback, Tony Romo, said was one of the best receivers in the league in the final game of the 2016 season. Maybe Romo is biased; the last touchdown pass of his career was to Williams. Maybe it was Romo’s return to Jerry World that sparked the return of Williams.

Against the Kansas City Chiefs, T-Will looked like a guy who is not only not going to be cut, but will remain: He caught nine passes for 141 yards. On nine targets.

The Cowboys defeated the Chiefs 28-17, and while the game was a struggle at times, the Cowboys were clearly the better team in part because of a defensive line that continues to improve, and because guys like T-Will and Cole Beasley had their best day of the season.

You are not going to believe this, but T-Will is the first Cowboys receiver to go over 100 yards in a game this season.

Sunday was the first time since Week 17 of the 2015 season T-Will went for more than 100 yards receiving. The only difference was that game was garbage time.

The Cowboys have won three consecutive games, and Ezekiel Elliott continues to find a judge so ... maybe this will keep going.

Here are three more thoughts on the Cowboys’ latest win.

1. Tony Romo is at home in the booth, and it was nice to see him back. The Cowboys unveiled a “WELCOME HOME 9” banner in the west end zone for the return of Romo, who was in the CBS booth next to Jim Nantz for the first time since he retired in the of-fseason.

Admittedly, I was fairly critical of Romo last season, because he earned it, but he is in his element as an NFL analyst. He’s enthusiastic, insightful and Romo has learned the medium.

He should be in the booth for the next decade, at least.

Nantz, who is just about one of the nicest guys in the business, praised Romo in the first half when he said Romo never addressed the Cowboys as “we.”

An avid golfer, Romo said he just likes it down the middle.

1.5 Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving is playing himself into a nice contract. The former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle continues to play like a guy who wants to, and will, get paid. Since he’s come off his four-game suspension, he has a sack in every game. He has six on the year. If it wasn’t for Tank Lawrence’s monster season, more of us media hacks would be talking about Irving.

2. Blame the Cowboys defensive backs on the Tyreek Hill touchdown; all of them. Chiefs receiver/running back Tyreek Hill is one of the toughest covers in the NFL, and the Cowboys went out of their way to ensure he made his fantasy football team owners happy.

At their own 44-yard line with 2 seconds remaining, the Chiefs opted for an underneath pass to Hill, against a Cowboys defense that dropped 10 defenders back all the way to California to keep the play in front of them. That part worked.

Too bad the tackling did not. Hill caught the pass and was not touched for a half-ending, 56-yard touchdown that will live in lore and infamy of the respective franchises.

As ugly as this play is, this type of play in this instance is not without precedence.

In 2007, the Indianapolis Colts hosted the New England Patriots in one of the classic Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady games. With 28 seconds remaining in the first half, Manning flipped a screen pass to running back Joseph Addai, who turned it into a 73-yard touchdown pass.

The common thread? Both teams that scored those unlikely plays lost their respective games.

2.5. Rookie defensive end Taco Charlton made a play. Like, a real one. Not kidding. He sacked Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith with 5:30 remaining in the game. The sack was the first of Taco’s career.

Speaking of plays we didn’t expect, safety Jeff Heath came up with an interception on the next play to essentially end the game. That would be his first int. of the season.

3. The NFL scored a lot of quality PR touchdowns by relaxing its overly sensitive, snowflake rules on end zone celebrations. One of this season’s real highlights has been watching NFL players unleash their creative side, including Sunday.

After Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce caught a short touchdown pass early in the third quarter, he and a few of his teammates lined up on the side of the end zone as if they were going to do a sprint. Instead, they emulated a sack race.

It was almost as good as when the Minnesota Vikings players played duck-duck-goose after a touchdown against the Chicago Bears earlier this season:

Mac Engel: @macengelprof

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