Wide receiver Roy Williams is working hard to be a worthy investment for the Cowboys. He certainly has had his critics since being traded from Detroit. With being the only other receiver on the roster with substantial game experience, the Cowboys need Williams to be a consistent threat. If he becomes a reliable target for quarterback , his presence would open up the rest of the offense.
During Monday morning's training camp practice (Practice #8), I watched Williams exclusively while the team ran two different 11-on-11 drills: the first from the red zone, the second from near midfield. I watched where he lined up, how the defense covered him, his route running, and his overall performance. Here's what I noted of him on each snap.
Make the jump.
11-on-11 Red Zone
Snap 1: Lined up wide left. Defense double-teamed him (M. Jenkins, K. Hamlin) on what looked like a fly route to the end zone. Romo pass to the right side of offense (incomplete).
Snap 2: Lined up wide left. Running play. Did an effective job of blocking, but Igor ran the play out of bounds.
Snap 3: Wide left with Felix and Marty B in the slot. Pass to Witten over mid-right fell incomplete.
Snaps 4 & 5: Wide left. After a running play for minimal gain, Williams helped block for a designed QB sneak by Romo, which would have scored a TD.
Snap 6: In slot on left, with Crayton out wide on same side. Ran a skinny post, but there was a problem with the C/QB exchange.
Snap 7: Left slot. Ran a 10-yard hitch to the outside. Pass went to Marty B for what could have been a score.
Snap 8: Right slot with Marty B outside. Incomplete pass to Witten.
Snap 9: Wide left with MB3 in the slot. Blocked Jenkins. Running play to the right.
Snap 10: Wide left with Crayton in slot. Blocking on Jenkins. Run right again.
Snap 11: Motioned from left to right slot. Covered by Newman. Got open, but pass went left to Witten.
Snap 12: Wide left. Ran post. Covered by Scandrick. Pass intercepted by FS.
Snap 13: Wide left with Crayton in slot. Good blocking on running play against.
11-on-11 from 40-yard line
Snap 1: Wide right with Felix in slot. Ran a hitch outside, beating TNew. Pass went incomplete over the middle to Witten.
Snap 2: Wide left. Ran a hitch outside. Pass complete to Barber.
Snap 3: Wide left. Slant pass hit Williams in the hands at the goalline, but Scandrick completely blasted him, knocking off his helmet and popping the ball in the air.
Snap 4: Wide left. Ran a fade to the corner of the end zone. Pass went short to Crayton for a TD.
Snap 5: Motioned from left to right slot. He ran a streak route to the end zone, but the pass from Romo fell horribly short. Garrett made the offense redo this snap in slow motion. It looked like Williams was supposed to turn for the ball after five yards for a quick strike. He caught the redo and went through the motions. Had they been on the page the first time, he would have been wide open for a good chunk of yardage.
Snap 6: Wide left. Quick slant thrown to him by Romo, but pass was low and Williams could not scoop it up.
Snap 7: Wide right. Lined up against Courtney Brown. Pass was deflected at line (J.Hatcher?).
In terms of production, this may have not been the best practice for me to focus on Roy. It was interesting, though, to see him lined up in various pre-snap positions. Of course, this may say more about Garrett's play-calling and adjustments rather than the featuring of Roy's skills.
Roy looked to be doing a good job separating from the defender, but he didn't see a lot of passes. The few that did go his way fell incomplete because of a great play by Scandrick, being on the wrong page with Romo, and from being thrown too low. You can tell he's working hard and wants to get it right; he wants to compete. Even after getting rocked by Scandrick, he tried to sneak in with the second team to run another play.
As training camp and pre-season rolls on, we'll keep an eye how much the Williams/Romo connection progresses.