Roy Williams didn't come close to meeting the expectations that the team, the media and the fans had for him last year. He even admitted that he didn't meet his own expectations. We all know this to be true. Let's accept that as a fact and move forward. I have grown tired of hearing about his contract and the numbers he produced last season. There is no excuse for what happened last year. The only thing that Roy Williams and Tony Romo can do at this point is improve next season.
Miles Austin is the clear cut #1 receiver on the roster now. We still have to hope that another team doesn't do anything crazy to steal him away from the Cowboys but those odds are very slim. Miles will most likely be back next season. So that means that Roy Williams will continue in his role as the #2 receiver. You can talk about moving him down on the depth chart all you want but I think we all know that isn't going to happen. The Cowboys are going to put him on the field unless someone outplays him consistently for a long period of time. But no one will get enough opportunities to prove they are better because Roy will be on the field. Right or wrong, that is what is going to happen.
So I want to establish some realistic expectations for Roy Williams next year. He isn't going to catch 100 passes for 1400 yards and 15 TD's. For what Jerry paid to get Roy we should be able to expect that but it is obvious we can't. So what can we expect then?
The one bright spot for Roy Williams last season was his ability to get the ball in the end zone. Roy's numbers last year were embarrassing for the most part. He had 38 catches for 596 yards and 7 TD's. But reaching for positives he averaged 15.7 yards per reception which is solid. 76% of his receptions went for first downs (that was 13th in the NFL by the way). And he averaged a touchdown for every 5.4 receptions. Those two stats are what I feel can be worked to Roy's advantage. He is a big physical receiver. He doesn't get separation from defenders, but he can go up and get the ball or use his body to shield defenders from the ball. So he needs to be a 3rd down/red zone specialist.
Roy probably won't catch 80 balls next year. But I think 60 is a realistic goal. And he isn't going to get 1400 yards. But 900 would be a good number if Miles Austin is really the guy he appears to be. The important statistics for Roy Williams are going to be third down receptions and touchdowns. I'd like to see him maintain or improve his first down conversion rate. That would mean that of his 60 receptions he should be converting first downs on at least 46 of those receptions. I could live with that. And most importantly, Roy Williams needs to be the red zone threat he was paid to be. If he continues to score at his 2009 rate, that would mean 11+ touchdowns. 11+ TD's sounds pretty good to me.
So tell me, would you be happy to see Roy Williams put up 60 receptions for 900 yards and 11 TD's? I think I would be happy with that as long as that happens while Miles Austin and Jason Witten continue to operate as the top two passing options in the offense. Most teams would die to have their third receiving option put up numbers like I projected. I know he is paid to do more, but we have to get past that fact. The Cowboys did overpay for him in terms of money and draft picks, but it is time to maximize his talents in the offense.