NFL players aren't exactly known for being candid in their public comments, especially if it concerns some of their faults. One of the biggest faults you can have as an NFL player is effort. That is something a player can control, so if they aren't giving 100% effort, it's not looked on kindly. For an NFL player to admit to not going 100% is rare. But Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams just copped to it. And good for him.
"Sometimes I went 90 instead of 100, and it bit me in the butt sometimes and sometimes it didn't. It's kind of hard whenever you're going out there and some games you don't get a pass. It's just a constant battle with me just talking to myself, and I got tired of just watching myself on tape from last year. It's just one of those things now that I know I'm not going to do that anymore."
Williams, at times, has been one of the better number two wide receivers in the league, but, at times, he's also been invisible. Just look at last year's stats for Williams. Six touchdowns in the first seven weeks, then zero touchdowns the rest of the regular season. His rookie season had a similar pattern, with a cluster of really good games, then a whole set of games where he wasn't a significant factor.
Some of that can be written off to the fact that he plays in an offense with Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and a strong running game. There are only so many footballs to go around. But, if the player can see for himself that he's not giving 100%, then we know he hasn't reached his potential. So this offseason, Williams is changing his approach and hopes to be a consistent force over the course of the season.
"I got tired of just looking at myself sometimes, taking off plays," he said. "It's one of those things where I really just blocked it out. If he throws me the ball, he throws me the ball - if not, I'm just going to continue to do my job each and every day."
An observant quarterback like Romo could not have failed to notice Williams' inconsistency in effort. He's now lauding his work in the offseason.
"His route running has really gotten defined. He's always had the ability to be explosive run after catch, and I think you're seeing him now get his route running to another level. That's exciting to see."
With Dez out, he's getting plenty of looks from Romo. If Williams can somehow insert himself into the equation consistently, the Cowboys offense should go from dangerous to lethal.